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L'ENFANT aka THE CHILD
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Artificial Eye Film
Cast: Jeremie Renier, Deborah François, Jeremie Segard, Fabrizio Rongione, Olivier Gourmet, Stephane Bissot, Mireille Bailly, Anne Gerard, Bernard Marbaix, Frederic Bodson, Leon Michaux, Samuel De Ryck, Hachemi Haddad, Olindo Bolzan, Sophia Leboutte, Alao Kasongo, Jean-Michel Balthazar, Philippe Jeusette
Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Countries: Belgium / France
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 100 mins
USA Rated: R for brief language
UK Certificate: 12A contains strong language and moderate violence
USA Release Date: 24 March 2006 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 10 March 2006
The Belgian Dardenne Brothers founded their company "Derives" in 1975 and produced and directed some 60 documentaries. They began their realist dramas in 1996 with THE PROMISE (LA PROMESSE), the Brothers third feature. This was followed in 1999 by ROSETTA, which won the Brothers their first Palme d'Or. Then followed THE SON (LE FILS), which won best actor for Olivier Gourmet at Cannes in 2002. THE CHILD (L'ENFANT) was shown at this year's Cannes and was their second Palme d'Or winner.
In the highly acclaimed Palme d'Or winner, THE CHILD, the Dardennes have created a beautifully acted, exquisitely observed morality tale. The powerful central performance by Jeremie Renier as Bruno gives the film its strength.
Bruno (Jeremie Renier) is twenty. Sonia, (Deborah François) is eighteen. They live off Sonia's benefit and the thefts committed by Bruno and the kids in his gang. Sonia has just given birth to Jimmy, their child. How can Bruno become a father, being so carefree and living as he does for the present, solely concerned about the money from his deals?
Note from The Dardenne Brothers
This film probably dates from a day during the shooting of our previous film. We were in Seraing, on Rue du Molinay. In the morning, afternoon and evening, we saw a girl pushing a pram along, with a newborn baby asleep inside it. She didn't seem to be going anywhere in particular - just around and around with the pram. We have often thought back to this girl, her pram, the sleeping child, and the missing character: the child's father. This absent figure would become important in our story - a love story - that is also the story of a father.