THE SON (2002) [Feature]

Belgium (MIFF 2002 , International Panorama)

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).

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