This movie was inspired by the 1953 Last Great Air Race, London-Christchurch. The KLM (Dutch) aircraft which won the handicap race carried 40 Dutch Immigrants to New Zealand.
Bride Flight is the story of Majorie, Ada & Esther who are on the flight, travelling to New Zealand where they are to join their future husbands for a brighter future.
Also on the flight is Frank who is also seeking a brighter future in New Zealand. Frank was brought up in Indonesia and his hopes of continuing his life there were dashed with the atrocities his family suffered at the hands of the Japanese in World War II.
The foursome have never met before and they get to know each other as they are seated in close proximity on the flight. They come from different walks of life, are weary from the war and its ravages. Whilst they are all excited about the new lives that lie ahead of them, they still have their own skeletons in the closet and tales to tell of what they are trying to escape by leaving their motherland.
Frank is a charismatic character. Everyone is drawn to him, even those who are betrothed to a relative stranger with whom they will soon be reunited in an unknown land and whatever this new life will bring.
Once the plane lands in Christchurch, in record time, they all embark on the next part of their life’s journey. They all disperse onto different paths, their new relationships and their new environments.
This movie is bitter sweet, just like Dutch liquorice! It is their journey over a 50 year period when they are finally drawn back together with the death of Frank.
The scenes from 1950’s New Zealand are charming, the bleakness, the splendour and the drama of the South Island’s landscapes of the West Coast, Otago and the windswept beaches are stunning, all enhancing the emotion of the situation and the difference of the country from which they have all come from.
Bride Flight is a journey that entwines the lives of Frank, Majorie, Ada & Esther from the moment they embark on the flight to their new lives and choices that are made along the way. You are moved back and forth between the past and the present, which enables the gaps to be filled. This journey you travel along with each of them pulls at your heart strings as the gravity of forbidden love, impossible choices and secret pacts are revealed.
Reviewed by: Linda McGlynn
StarringL: Karina Smulders, Waldemar Torenstra, Anna Drijver, Pleuni Touw, Petra Laseur, Rutger Hauer
Directed by: Ben Sombogaart
Genre: True Story, Drama
Duration: 2hr 11mins
Rating: [R13] contains violence and sex scenes