August 03, 2013

Our Children (2012)

Our Children (2012)
Directed by: Joachim Lafosse
Country: Belgium / France / others

Review: “Our Children” is the most compelling Belgian drama since Dardenne brothers’ “The Kid With A Bike”. In its first moments we get to know that something terrible had happened to Murielle (Émilie Dequenne) and her family. To find out exactly what, we just have to follow her life from the moment that passionate Mounier (Tahar Rahim) asks her to marry him. Mounier is a Maroccan descendent whose adoptive father, Dr. Andre Pinget (Niels Arestrup), always supported and protected since childhood. After the couple’s third child has born, they started to struggle with lack of space and money, so they decided to move into Andre’s place. This increasing dependence on him will bring tragic consequences to their relationship, with Andre constantly trying to control the couple’s wills and ideas in an overwhelming way. Another parallel subject, though secondary, that is compellingly depicted in the film has to do with immigration and marriages of convenience. With a finale that gave me the creeps, “Our Children” was able to create such intensity, sadness, and tension around the story, that I felt suffocated just by watching Murielle’s expressions. The performances were simply superb, leading Dequenne to win the Un Certain Regard Award for best actress at Cannes, while Lafosse showed to be a filmmaker with exceptional maturity, presenting us another extraordinary accomplishment in his career.

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