17 Apr 2024 20:30
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Stefanie Kolk

OmeU, dt. UT
Audience Award

Seldom does a feature film explore the profound significance of breast milk production, a symbol of nurturing life. However, when this process is rendered redundant by a stillbirth, a more contemplative narrative may emerge – one that gently reflects on the concepts of »giving life« and loss, the journey of grief and ultimately hope. Stefanie Kolk’s Milk is this film. Robin and her husband Jonas struggle with deep grief after experiencing a stillbirth. A constant and disorienting reminder of the loss and vital purpose of motherhood, Robin grapples with her continued milk production. A midwife guides her in pumping, a routine that will help to end the process naturally. Yet discarding the milk proves emotionally distressing, prompting her to donate to other mothers in need. As surplus bottles fill their fridge, Robin embarks on a quietly determined, yet challenging course: bureaucratic obstacles hinder easy donation and force her into incessant internet searches with calls to potential recipients.

She seeks solace in the form of silent forest walks with fellow mourners. Jonas steadfastly supports her while navigating his own grief. Kolk portrays Robin as a »rebel carving her own path«, with actress Frieda Barnhard skillfully capturing the complexity of the role with both »lightness and darkness« (Kolk), dignifying still moments and imbuing dialogue with wit. With an evocatively minimalist visual language and sound design, Milk inspires through the powers of silence and space. A rare portrayal of a farewell, eliciting empathy without shattering.

Guest: Stefanie Kolk


Stefanie Kolk


Stefanie Kolk, Nena Van Driel


Emo Weemhoff


Maarten Ernest

Sound Design

Jacob Oostra


Susanne Groen, Jitske Windig, Nathalie Crum


Erik Glijnis, Leontine Petit – lemming film


Marina Blok – NTR


Bendita Film Sales

Stefanie Kolk

Stefanie Kolk grew up in Nijmegen, Netherlands. She studied biophysics and lived in Japan for two years before entering the Netherlands Film Academy. Her graduation short Clan and shorts Harbour and Eyes on the Road premiered at Locarno International Film Festival’s Pardi di Domani International Competition. Kolk’s films have shown at festivals and in cinemas around the world. Her debut feature Milk premiered in 2023 at Venice in the Giornate degli Autori and in Rotterdam (2024).

Films by Stefanie Kolk
Eyes on the Road 2019 | Harbour 2017 | Clan 2016 | Handen 2015

17 Apr 2024 20:30
Book tickets