Klinkaart, 1956

Paul Meyer’s short film, Klinkaart, opens to the image of two sisters attempting to retrieve a fallen fruit drifting downstream of a river. The older sister then joins the other women from the village as they walk to the brickyard for her first day of work: removing the clay bricks from forms, laying them into endless rows to dry in the sun, returning the emptied forms to the brickmaker. Inevitably, the young woman is confronted with the sad reality of the tedium and drudgery of her unrewarding, monotonous vocation, and the unwelcome harassment and abusive behavior of other workers. The film evokes the spare and austere cinema of Robert Bresson, particularly Mouchette and Au Hasard Balthazar, in Meyer’s parallel imagery of humanity and animal exploitation, from the distinctive footsteps of wooden clogs striking a brick paved road that is reflected in the clacking of horseshoes, to the crosscutting sequence of the young woman exhaustedly toiling in the sun with the horse pulling the clay cart.

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