The Child (image 1)

We are all children. Everyone is a child in the film.

Jean-Pierre Dardenne, NY Times

Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

The Child 2005

L’enfant

Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

We’re proud to present the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or direct from the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a riveting, at times alarmingly suspenseful moral tale of a feckless young hustler whose cavalier attitude to fatherhood takes him into very deep waters indeed. “A profoundly moving and engaging realist picture.” — The Guardian

Belgium / France In French with English subtitles
100 minutes 35mm

Directors, Screenplay

Photography

Alain Marcoen

Editor

Marie-Hélène Dozo

With

Jérémie Rénier
,
Deborah François
,
Jérémie Segard
,
Fabrizio Rongione
,
Olivier Gourmet
,
Stéphane Bissot
,
Mireille Bailly

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition) 2005

Awards

Palme d'Or, Cannes 2005

Elsewhere

We’re proud to present the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or direct from the Cannes Film Festival. It’s a riveting, at times alarmingly suspenseful moral tale of a feckless young hustler whose cavalier attitude to fatherhood takes him into very deep waters indeed. “By giving the Palme d'Or to The Child, [the Cannes jury] have honoured a profoundly moving and engaging realist picture by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Belgian brothers who have now conquered Cannes twice. The first time was in 1999 with their film Rosetta. The Child is the story of Bruno, a 20-year-old petty thief in a dismal Belgian town. His 18-year-old girlfriend, Sonia has just had their baby, whom she dotes on. But Bruno isn't so sure. On the proceeds of Bruno's larcenous adventures, the couple are able to splash out. But the money's soon gone and they have to spend the night in a homeless hostel, where they are separated into men's and women's wings, as if in a Victorian workhouse. Bruno becomes tempted by what one of his fences tells him: that there is big money to be made in selling children into the adoption black-markets… It is a terrifying and emotionally harrowing story, given depth by two superb performances. The film pays a lot more than lip-service to an idea that has become modish at Cannes this year: moral redemption. In other movies, that idea was nothing more than a style accessory, but in The Child it has a commanding ethical force, and the festival did itself a favour by paying the highest tribute to a film that has a compelling and unapologetic moral seriousness.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian