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Winner of the French Touch Prize of the Jury at Cannes Critics’ Week, this coming-of-age drama is a stirring social-realist fiction debut.

Seventeen-year-old Purdey and her brother Makenzy live in Belgium’s Wallonia province. They spend their days swimming at the lake, a local haven for tourists and economic climbers, and avoiding their daily struggles at home: an erratic and absent mother, poverty, and the escalating spectre of adulthood. Confronted with the realities of pursuing her dreams or supporting her family through hard times, Purdey fantasises about a better life away from this society where her plight is becoming more and more common.

Paloma Sermon-Daï has cast her actual half-siblings in the lead roles, a choice that heightens the emotional stakes as her characters confront the challenges of socio-economic class from their ramshackle home (whose leaking roof gives the film its name). Building on her earlier work Petit Samedi, an award-winning documentary examining drug addiction as it affected her own mother and brother, It’s Raining in the House is an eye-opening narrative breakthrough from an exciting directorial talent with echoes of the Dardennes and Ursula Meier (Sister, MIFF 2012; Home, MIFF 2008).

“Combining a familiar ‘last summer’ coming-of-age story with a non-fiction sensibility to arresting effect, the filmmaker’s intimate visual style effectively draws the viewer into the sealed-off world of the troubled protagonists.” – Screen Daily