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The Silence of Lorna (2008)

Le silence de Lorna (original title)
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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 »

Writers:

(as Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne), (as Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Alban Ukaj ...
Morgan Marinne ...
Spirou
...
L'inspecteur
Anton Yakovlev ...
Grigori Manoukov ...
Mireille Bailly ...
Monique Sobel
Stéphanie Gob ...
Nurse
Laurent Caron ...
Commissaire
Baptiste Somin ...
Morgue Attendant
Alexandre Trocky ...
Doctor
Cédric Lenoir ...
Bank Attendant
Cécile Boland ...
Female Doctor
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Storyline

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 money to satisfy his addiction. Andrei, the cigarette smuggler, must hold up for a while outside Russia; he has loads of money. Fabio, the Italian taxi driver and aspiring gang boss, elaborates a clever scheme: he will pay Claudy to marry Lorna so that she acquires a Belgian citizenship. Then she is to re-marry Andrei, who will in this way obtain the coveted EU passport - and pay a hefty price to Fabio and Lorna for the service. Like all plans, this one will not survive the contact with reality. Written by Eduardo Casais <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

money | bar | junkie | belgium | albanian | See All (57) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief sexuality/nudity, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

27 August 2008 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

El silencio de Lorna  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$34,411 (USA) (31 July 2009)

Gross:

$337,696 (USA) (27 November 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before being cast as Lorna, the only words Arta Dobroshi knew in French were the days of the week. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Silence, ça tue! (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Since You're Back In Town
By The Dinky Toys
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User Reviews

 
The exhilaration of someone growing before our eyes
6 September 2009 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

The Dardenne Brothers have a habit of immersing us in the muck of life, then casually reminding us that, in case we forgot, we are surrounded by beauty. Their latest film, Lorna's Silence, is full of the trials of conflicted humanity with all too visible surface scars hiding its true nature. Set in the Belgian city of Liege, Lorna, an Albanian immigrant, is eager to realize her dream of owning a snack shop together with her boyfriend Sokol (Alban Ukaj), a long-distance truck driver. In order to pursue this goal, she has paid the sleazy mob-connected Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione) to arrange a marriage with a Belgian heroin addict, Claudy (Jérémie Renier), in exchange for Belgian citizenship.

After divorcing Claudy, Lorna's plan is to marry again, this time to a Russian mobster (Anton Yakovlev) so he can get his own papers. Luc Dardenne says that the idea for the film came from a social worker who told them about an incident in which her brother, a junkie, was offered a huge sum of money by the Albanian mafia to enter into a paper marriage with an Albanian prostitute. She would then divorce him for another wad of cash and be free to marry a member of the Albanian mafia, both becoming Belgian citizens in the process.

The early images are all about money. From the opening scene where bills are being counted, money is constantly being handed over, counted, refused, or buried in the ground. The cold expression on Lorna's face and her abruptness in conversation tells us almost immediately that the marriage is a fake. Lorna ignores Claudy's almost pathetic neediness while greed pervades the atmosphere. She fakes being physically abused by Claudy in order to secure evidence for a quickie divorce but Claudy is unwilling or unable to hurt her. In a scene marked by ghoulish humor, she slams herself into a door and bangs her head against a wall to fill her body with bruises.

Things become complicated, however, when Claudy vows to kick his drug habit and Lorna begins to care for him, resisting Fabio's attempts to eliminate him via a drug overdose. Dobroshi delivers an outstanding performance, as does Renier who has become one of the Dardennes' most confident regulars. Though the film is more plot-driven and the camera-work less oppressively intimate than some of the brothers' earlier films, Lorna's Silence is nonetheless a gripping, powerful drama, full of searing insight into the human condition. What is most important is not the story or the movement of the camera but the continuity of the theme of the awakening of conscience.

Just when we feel that the characters have no place to go but down, the Dardennes tear us away suddenly from our addiction to the physical and hurl us into a world of tenderness and infinite possibility. As Lorna senses that she is suddenly at risk, she seems to break through the cycle of futile actions that have marked her life and, even in the mundane task of gathering wood to build a fire, we sense the exhilaration of someone growing before our eyes. As the Dardennes invite us to step into a bigger world, we hear the closing reverie of Beethoven's other-worldly Piano Sonata No. 32 reminding us that we are tuned into what the Quaker poet Thomas Kelly has called "the silence which is the source of all sound".


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