Brownian Movement

The Netherlands/Germany/Belgium 2010, Feature film, 100' | Director, Screenplay Nanouk Leopold | DoP Frank an den Eeden | Editor Katharina Wartena | Sound Andreas Hildebrandt | Cast Sandra Hüller, Dragan Bakema, Sabine Timoteo | Production Stienette Bosklopper | Distribution Filmlichter

»Nanouk Leopold revolves around an unexplainable phenomenon with big, composed images. What keeps us together and what drives us apart? She tells of a love story between people who stick to each other although they cannot share everything.«
Gabriela Seidel-Hollaender, Berlin International Film festival

Brownian Motion refers to the aimless movement of particles in fluids and gasses, a consequence of collisions between atoms and molecules that are constantly in a state of motion.

Charlotte is a doctor in a laboratory of the Brussels University Hospital. She is married and has a child. In an apartment that she has rented, she has casual sex with some of her patients. These are men who contravene conventional ideals of beauty, because they are old, hairy or extremely fat. Sleeping with them for her is almost like a scientific experiment. When her husband Max finds out about this, it is not only their marriage that is at risk of disintegrating.
The couple turn to therapy. They search for words, for rational explanations. But Charlotte cannot, and does not want to describe her desires in words. Finally, the family makes a new start, in India, where Max works as an architect. Sandra Hüller plays her character, who hides a secret, with great intensity. She is vulnerable yet tough, sensitive yet untouchable.

Nanouk Leopold structures her film in three parts, narrating with a strict formality and confident style. The bustle of Charlotte and Max's successful working world and family life is followed by a phase of contemplation in which the couple try to come to terms with their situation. Surrounded by the bright colours and cultural alienation of India, they end up revolving around the capability of each accepting their partner for what they are.


Nanouk Leopold was born 1968 in Rotterdam. She studied at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy and at the Rotterdam Academy of Visual Arts. She began directing projects for Dutch television before making her feature directing debut with Iles flottantes in 2001.


Films by Nanouk Leopold
Wolfsbergen 2007 | Guernsey 2005 | Iles flottantes 2001 | Max Lupa 2001 | Weekend 1998 | Marseille 1-2 1997

Nanouk Leopold
Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
Festure Film
Competition for Women Directors