Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs... See full summary »
Transport Minister Bertrand Saint-Jean is awoken in the middle of the night by his head of staff. A bus has gone off the road into a gully. He has no choice but to go to the scene of the ... See full summary »
Miranda is a crew member of a nightly radio programmme. She and her husband Felix, a cop, are parents of a girl. Miranda's daily dog walking strolls are excuses to pursue sexual encounters ... See full summary »
Manuel Gómez Pereira
A very sad but genuinely human story. The middle-aged Icelandic woman Loa is seriously mentally ill. Finally it turns out that her husband is a latent alcoholic who submits to his addiction... See full summary »
Deeply humanistic portrayal of the power of empathy
This compelling film concerns the specific plight of a woman experiencing an excruciating episode of post partum depression, one that causes her to abandon her family and flirt with a complete breakdown. The author of the film has used this event to depict with stunning depth and understanding the underlying impulses, needs and desires of a whole range of characters, most particularly, a female neighbor of the depressed woman who takes her into her home and offers her unconditional support. The layers of insight run quite deep, taking the moviegoer into the lives of adults and children, into relationships between married couples, lovers (adulterous and otherwise), parents and children, friends and neighbors. There's a quality of empathy that the filmmaker clearly feels that she manages to convey on film. The camera never shies from dynamic close-ups of some very expressive faces. The acting is uniformly superb, creating characters that are real in an everyday sense without the slightest concession to glamour. The script is filled with small moments that ring absolutely true and that often resonate beyond the particulars of the film's plot. As a man, and a city dweller, who readily perceives the limits of my obligations to strangers in need, I had my consciousness raised as to just what the potential of unconditional empathy might be.
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