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 »
Liège, Belgium. Sandra is a factory worker who discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job.
Roger uses his son Igor to ruthlessly traffic and exploit illegal aliens. When one of the aliens is killed, Igor is guilt-ridden and wants to care for the dead man's family against his father's orders.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man's arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
At about 11, the stubborn and impulsive Cyril seems on his way to delinquency: he has no mother, his father wants a new life without him, so he's in a foster institution. He searches for his father, wanting him and his bike. Through the intersession of Samantha, a hairdresser Cyril happens upon, he gets his bike back, and she offers to take him into her home on weekends. He remains aloof from her and gets involved with a young crook. Is Cyril intent on driving Samantha away - and what then? Written by
Based on the idea of a film about "a woman who helps a boy emerge from the violence that holds him prisoner" by Dardenne Brothers. See more »
After meeting Cyril's dad at the restaurant, Samantha and Cyril get in a car with horizontal AC vents. They get out of the car to meet him again. This time they get back in a car with AC vents circular in shape. See more »
The limits of kindness? Perhaps none. A limited but very touching film.
The Kid with a Bike (2011)
A troubled boy finds an informal foster mom who tries her best to keep in line. That's the story and in way that's the whole depth of the story. The detailshis rebellion, his responding to love, his being suckered by a drug dealerare expected and interesting and beautifully told. The story has a slightly polished realism to separate it from its forebear, the great classic "The Bicycle Thief," and there might be a slight gap in motivations to explain, but in general you get sucked into this situation and the awkward relationship between the two. It is a tale appreciated in its siimple telling.
I had a foster child for a couple of years at an age close to this boy's, and there is a lot here that makes vivid sense. The woman, perhaps too lovely for normal realism (played by Cecile De France), is nevertheless sincere and quite smart in her mothering skills. She gets the boy to live with her almost by chance, and follows that chance, and learns to give him some rope and to also reign him in by example and through compassion.
But even this isn't enough. That's one of the terrifying truths of being a foster parent (or any parent)you can only do your best. Some of the result is a product of luck, or personality, or some course of outside events that you don't predict (even if later you can say you saw them coming). All of this is included here, well done, with a kind of filmic modesty.
The one bit of high drama comes down to the child pushing his limits when he gets into a criminal plan, and the results of that, which leads to a bit of small time revenge that goes wrong. The boy is now beyond his own limits and is literally stunned. By the last scene, you ought to be heartbroken but also really hopeful. The message finally is that kids are really resilient, and you have to keep opening the right doors for them and let them make good choices.
This film lets us do that.
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