AFTER THE TONE: Dutch spoken / English subtitles
SNG 015, 85 minutes plus extra features
We only hear voice-mail messages, recorded on the mobile phone of a certain Onno. We see beautiful, perfectly framed images of different places, varying from a business park to a palm beach in the Pacific. AFTER THE TONE does not have normal scenes with dialogue.
From the voice-mail messages it becomes clear that Onno is a successful designer, who together with his associate Adriaan runs a thriving agency. We see a brand-new building with lots of glass situated at the waterside of an old business park. It is an image that keeps coming back, in different seasons, in different moments of the day. Is Adriaan in that building when he calls Onno? Do we see his point of view when we see a boat with sand sailing? It seems so.
On the day that Onno is announced to have won an important prize, he is untraceable. He doesn’t return anybody’s calls left on his voice-mail.
Gradually it appears that Onno has disappeared, and no one knows where and why. Between the lines it becomes clear how people are struggling with his disappearance. Who was Onno actually for him to suddenly disappear? Did friends and family overlook that he wasn’t all right? Did they even have real contact with him?
During that year Adriaan realizes that he cannot continue with their joint business on his own. Onno’s father also dies that year, and his sister desperately seeks refuge in spirituality. We hear the emotional roller coaster of anger, denial, despair and eventually resignation wherein all these people find themselves.
At the end, only Onno’s girlfriend Saskia is left. She is far away, at the last place where a transaction has been made with Onno’s credit card. She still waits for him. Maybe one day, they will see each other again.
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