Belgian brothers’ movie premieres at Cannes

20th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The movie, Lorna’s Silence, presents a tough and unsettling picture of immigrants attempting to set up a new life in modern Europe.

20 May 2008

CANNES - Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's Lorna's Silence, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Monday, presents a tough and unsettling picture of the attempts by immigrants to set up a new life in modern Europe.

In the case of the Dardenne brothers' latest movie, it focuses on a young Albanian woman, played by Pristina-born actress Arta Dobroshi, who enters an arranged marriage with a heroin addict so she can gain Belgian citizenship and then marry a Russian Mafia boss who wants Western European nationality quickly.

"I know these stories from the Balkans," Dobroshi said at a press conference marking the film's debut in Cannes.

They are stories about "human beings who are trying to survive," she said.

In the Dardennes' film, Lorna struggles to suppress her feelings and her growing sense of loneliness as she battles to fulfil her dreams of establishing a new life in Belgium with her boyfriend, Soko, who is working in risky jobs in other parts of Western Europe.

But the reality of the murky and criminal world she has launched herself into soon catches up with her, placing all her hopes at risk as the man arranging the marriage with the Russian schemes about killing off her junkie husband and her relationship with Soko unravels.

"I would say what we are interested in are human beings, people from another place who come from elsewhere," Jean-Pierre Dardenne said at the press conference.

"We show how they arrive and install themselves," he said, adding, that they also show what the immigrants are prepared to accept.

Winning the Palme d'Or in Cannes this year would represent a record third time that the Dardenne brothers have been awarded top honours at the world's leading film festival.

At the press conference, Luc Dardenne conceded that it was difficult to find a solution to human-trafficking and illegal immigrants.

However, as a former refugee from the Kosovo conflict, Alban Ukaj, who plays Soko in Lorna's Silence and who was also born in Pristina, emotionally described the personal indignities that can follow finding yourself living in another country where, as he said, you don't belong.

"It is the worst humiliation," Ukaj said.

"It is easier to die," adding that this helped to make the story of Lorna's Silence very familiar to him.

But as Dobroshi also said, "It could have been a story from Albania, Serbia or Turkey."

[dpa / Expatica]

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