Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
Already two-time Palme d‘Or winners for Rosetta in 1999 and L'Enfant in 2005, the Belgian Dardenne Brothers left Cannes this year with the laurel for Best Screenplay.
"Lorna‘s Silence, their latest film, shows them at close to their finest, producing raw and deeply moving drama by tracking the movements of men and women on the fringes of society. Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) is a young Albanian woman who dreams of setting up a snack bar in Belgium with her boyfriend. To fund it she agrees to a plan devised by a taxi-driving mobster who arranges for her to marry a junkie (Jérémie Renier) so that she can obtain Belgian citizenship. Once she‘s divorced him or agreed to have him killed, she‘s due to marry a Russian Mafioso, also eager to become a citizen. There‘s a problem: she starts to become emotionally engaged with the junkie. Dobroshi is a revelation as the eyes-on-the-prize woman who finds her life spiralling out of control almost as much as that of the drug addict whom she had initially scorned. Renier has an amazing ability to give humanity to loser characters. Their scratchy relationship may seem implausible on paper, but because of terrific performances rings utterly true on screen. The unfussy skill with which Lorna‘s Silence unfurls, wrong-footing and surprising us on a number of occasions, would put most Hollywood directors to shame. Moral without being moralistic, profound without lapsing into pomposity, the film confirms the directors as masters of contemporary humanist cinema." — Sukhdev Sandhu, Daily Telegraph
"Few directors offer the patient viewer such consummate rewards as Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne." — Justin Chang, Variety