Skip to main content

THE SON

Belgium, 2002 (MIFF 2002, International Panorama)

Director: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne

In 1999 Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne walked away fron Cannes with the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Rosetta. Three years later they have delivered The Son, selected for Official Competition at Cannes 2002.

The Dardenne brothers have again utilised Rosetta lead actor Olivier Gourmet, awarded this year's Cannes prize for Best Actor for his commanding performance. Gourmet plays Olivier, a carpentry instructor at a vocational training centre whose world is turned upside-down when a 16-year-old boy, Francis, decides to take his class. At first, Olivier turns him away. Then he relents. Meanwhile, Olivier follows the boy, covertly inspecting his locker and even stealing keys to break into his flat.

The Son is a cinematically rigorous film about two people learning to live with the weight of the past. In this sparse film essay on the theme of obsession, the Dardenne brothers follow Olivier's movements with a hand-held camera at times only inches from his body.

"The Son is reminiscent of a finely-crafted short story that, through an economy of means and meticulous attention to detail, builds to a climax that produces a singular emotional effect on an observer." - Hollywood Reporter

The Dardenne brothers (Jean-Pierre born in Angis, Belgium, 1951; and Luc born in Awirs, Belgium, 1954) have been making films together since 1978. Their more recent films include Falsch (1987), The Promise (1996), Gigi, Monica... et Bianca (1997) and Rosetta (1999).

See also...

BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN, The

"Intensely moving … a bracing emotional roller coaster." - Hollywood Reporter ... A huge hit in its native Belgium and winner of the Berlin Panorama's Audience Award, Felix van Groeningen's ... More »

The Child

The Child is the compelling new film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Son, MIFF 02), which won the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes, 2005. At the centre of this emotionally powerful drama is a young ... More »

DOUBLE TAKE

“Television is like the American toaster, you push the button and the same thing pops up every time.” - Alfred Hitchcock ... Through a feverish assemblage of mid-20th century advertising ... More »

THE SPANISH APARTMENT

Parisian native Xavier (Romam Duris, star of Gadjo Dilo) amves in Barcelona on a student exchange program, unable to speak the local lingo. Unhappy about leaving his girlfriend behind (Amelie's ... More »

DURVAL RECORDS

Durval is 45 years old and spent the best years of his life in the 70s. Looking like a Latin version of former Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman, he runs an anachronistic vinyl record store in a rundown Sao ... More »

DIVINE INTERVENTION

Collecting both the Jury Prize and FIPRESCI awards at Cannes this year, Elia Suleiman's Divine Intervention offers a singular view of Palestinian communities fraying at the edges - conveyed with a ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director