A Film That Is Also a Handshake: Dardenne Brothers × 3
Screening Dates
  • July 8, 2023 8:45
  • July 9, 2023 6:30
  • July 18, 2023 8:30
New Restoration

As assured and flawless a telling of sadness and joy as I have ever seen … The Son is a great film.”

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

A virtuosic work of formal austerity and secular parable, the Dardennes’ blistering drama, made between Palme d’Or winners Rosetta and L’Enfant, is probably the brothers’ masterpiece” (J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader). Olivier Gourmet, awarded Best Actor at Cannes for his devastatingly somatic performance, is namesake Olivier, a carpentry teacher at a vocational school for troubled youth, whose spare, solitary existence hints at past injury. When teenage Francis (Morgan Marinne) is paroled to the workshop, Olivier’s strange fascination with the boy soon lays bare a tragedy binding their former lives together. As ever in the brothers’ laconic cinema, psychology is eschewed and motivations are unclear, even to the characters themselves. The visceral 16mm camerawork is the product of a corps-caméra technique designed to imbue the image with embodied subjectivity. Philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas’s face-to-face ethics guide the film’s moral underpinnings.

In French with English subtitles

Withholding and in the end boundlessly humane, it’s a film that appears more radical with each viewing.”

Dennis Lim, Village Voice