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MISFORTUNATES, THE

Belgium, 2009 (MIFF 2009, Young Blood)

Director: Felix van Groeningen

“Blackout drinking, compulsive gambling, non-stop whoring and chronic fighting. Not exactly solid-citizen types.” - Hollywood Reporter

Dimitri Verhulst's rambunctious semi-autobiographical novel gets a royal cinematic treatment with this simultaneously ribald and affecting film from Felix Van Groeningen (Steve + Sky).

Thirteen-year-old Gunther lives under the guardianship of a family of yobbos. Barely more than children themselves, his family spend their days drinking and breaking every rule they can find - they gamble, indulge in eating competitions and instigate nude bike races through the town.

What masquerades as lowbrow comedy soon morphs into bittersweet exploration of whether the young Gunthercan evolve beyond his family environment. Is love, in the absense of other virtues, enough to sustain a proper upbringing?

D Felix van Groeningen P Dirk Impens, Jeroen Beker, Frans van Gestel S Christophe Dirickx, Felix Van Groeningen, Dimitri Verhulst WS MK2 L Dutch w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2009

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