A Film That Is Also a Handshake: Dardenne Brothers × 3
Screening Dates
  • July 7, 2023 8:30
  • July 10, 2023 6:30
  • July 18, 2023 6:30
New Restoration

The most visceral filmgoing experience of the past year … It makes just about every other form of movie realism’ look like trivial escapism.”

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s tour-de-force, a watershed work in social realist cinema, was the upset winner of top prize at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. (It would be the first of two Palme d’Ors for the Belgian masters.) Refining the already bare, vérité aesthetic of breakout feature La promesse, the brothers’ incendiary drama is an unflinching portrait of Rosetta (powerhouse Émilie Dequenne, crowned Best Actress at Cannes), a near-destitute young woman fighting tooth-and-nail to eke out an existence for herself and her alcoholic mother. The stark, soulful story achieves eminence thanks to veristic performances by Dequenne, Olivier Gourmet, and Fabrizio Rongione (in his first Dardenne collaboration), and a camera practically tethered to the nape of the heroine’s neck. In its crystalline portrayal of suffering and grace, the work bears resemblance to Robert Bresson’s transcendent Mouchette.

In French with English subtitles

A triumph of humanistic cinema … Rosetta grabs you by the throat and won’t let go.”

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times