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 »
Igor and his father, Roger, are making a decent living renting apartments to illegal immigrants and sometimes working them illegally (among other scams). But when the building inspector ... See full summary »
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Young, unmarried couple Sonia and Bruno have just had a son, who Sonia names Jimmy. Bruno, who did not visit her while she was in the hospital, scoffs at the notion of what he considers traditional employment, instead eking out a living primarily on petty crimes committed with his fourteen year old associate, Steve. He even sublets Sonia's small apartment while she is in the hospital, he sleeping either in the homeless shelter or squatting in what he calls his "shack" down by the river. On the day after Sonia gets out of the hospital, she allows Bruno to take Jimmy for a walk while she stands in line for her benefits. On that walk, Bruno makes the unilateral decision to sell Jimmy to a black market adoption agency. Upon finding out what Bruno has done, Sonia has a breakdown and falls unconscious. Fearing that Sonia will turn him over to the police when she regains consciousness, Bruno tries to get Jimmy back while he leaves Sonia in the hospital in her unconscious state. But Bruno ... Written by
I had the fortune to go see this at its Belgian premiere, which was attended by the main, and stunningly beautiful female actress, Déborah François. I found myself to be interested in the story from the start. The beginning of the film starts very simply, a young mother with a new-born baby searching on the street for what the audience presumes at the time, and is later verified to be the father of her child. The storyline then develops more as a sketch of the day-to-day living at the bottom of Belgian society. Though despite the fact a grim picture of the central couple's living situation is presented, the film-maker has not crossed the line and has interlaced many light-hearted moments into the movie.
The story develops as Bruno, the baby's father, is quickly shown to have no real interest in the baby or fatherhood, just in making money. He also is portrayed to have a genuine love for Sonya. In this sense the audience follows Brunos life, knowing not whether to cheer him or pray for his downfall, after he makes several questionable choices about the fate of his baby.
I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a simple film without Hollywood special effects, planned cinematography or any sort of soundtrack. I can see its appeal, but personally I came away wondering what exactly the director was trying to prove by making this film. He did succeed,however, to provide a somewhat entertaining, if slightly heavy film. The cast are excellent.
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