Dispossessed twenty-year old Bruno (Jérémie Renier) lives with his eighteen-year-old girlfriend Sonia (Déborah François) in Seraing, an eastern Belgian steel town. They live off Sonia’s unemployment benefits and the panhandling and petty theft committed by Bruno and his gang. Their lives change forever when Sonia gives birth to their child, Jimmy. She returns home after Jimmy’s birth to find that Bruno has sublet their apartment to total strangers. After an initial and promising change of heart about becoming a father and changing his ways, Jimmy becomes little more to Bruno than a new source of wealth. Desperate for money and unable to face his parental responsibilities, Bruno sells Jimmy to a black market connection, who promises to find the child an adoptive home. Realizing the error in his actions Bruno sets out to try and undo his callous deed, leading him to a powerful personal transformation.
After studying drama in the arts institute, Jean Pierre Dardenne and his brother Luc made some videos about the rough life in blue-collar small towns in the Wallonie. After their meeting with filmmaker Armad Gatti and cinematographer Ned Burgess, they decided to enter in the movie business.
In 1978 they shot their first documentary, Le chant du rossignol, about the resistance against the Nazis during the second world war in Belgium. In 1986 they shot their first fiction movie, Falsch, about a Jewish family massacred by the Nazis. After their second movie, Je pense a vous, they released La Promesse, a movie about inmigration in Belgium. The film was a success worldwide winning awards in many festivals.
In 1999 they had another hit with Rosetta, that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival. The movie tells the story of a blue collar worker with an alcoholic mother who tries to have a better life in a small belgium city.
In 2002, they came back to Cannes with their… read more
Characterizing themselves as “one person with four eyes,” Belgian filmmaker Luc Dardenne and his older brother Jean-Pierre rose to the forefront of international art cinema in the 1990s with such uncompromising, socially aware dramas as La Promesse (1996) and Rosetta (1999), depicting life in Belgium’s depressed industrial region near Liège on the Meuse River.
Born in Awirs, Dardenne grew up in a middle-class family in the working-class steel town Seraing. With schools closed during strikes, Dardenne was exposed to the upheavals of the 1960s labor movement during his formative years. While still in school, Dardenne frequently visited his older sibling in Brussels, where Jean-Pierre was studying acting under playwright Armand Gatti. Gatti, who often used nonprofessional actors, invited Luc to join his acting troupe. Though he got his degree in philosophy in the early ’70s, Luc was inspired by his time with Gatti to explore the creative and political possibilities of film and video… read more
My first Dardenne film was a very human experience. "Life force" was what they wanted to capture in every scene and I think they achieved that. The symbolism was a bit obvious and the arch seemed quite sharp, but, over all, it works. Maybe, with accumulation, I'll become more fond of the film.
In a way, L’Enfant was an accidental Cannes winner. 2005 wasn’t exactly the best year for the festival, but it is an accident not because it was the best of that medium selection. It is because the… read review