Young Louis and his family live in a nice neighbourhood in the picturesque village of Sidi Ifni on the Moroccan coast. His father suffers from severe depression, the impact of which is not fully appreciated by his mother or older brother. His father refuses to get help and withdraws totally into his office where he spends his days working, or more often brooding in silence. One day he shares a secret with Louis after swearing him to secrecy. This terrible secret would have a profound impact on Louis' once happy life. From now on the boy would shadow his father, with major ramifications for the boy.
The title refers to a French poem, as well as the role that Louis tries to play in his father's life.
This is in every respect a well-crafted film. The drama unfolding at home is handled with restraint and subtlety, the acting by Martin Nissen (Louis) and Olivier Gourmet (his father), in particular, is truly outstanding. Their body language and facial expressions say more than words could do. The cinematography is imaginative and reflects the troubled nature of the subject matter. Indeed, the camera-work is some of the best I had seen in quite some time. The soundtrack should be mentioned too, with haunting North African melodies adding to the melancholic ambiance of this outstanding film. 9/10.
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