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Lorna's Silence

(Le Silence de Lorna)

This latest from Belgium’s Dardenne brothers – Europe’s quiet soldiers of urgent, humane cinema – is a portrait of Lorna (Arta Dobroshi), a young Albanian immigrant in the Belgian town of Liège, whose dream to live independently in Western Europe and run a sandwich shop with her boyfriend has distorted her sense of morality. In rabid pursuit of her goals, Lorna has entered into an arranged marriage with a Belgian junkie, Claudy (Jérémie Renier), and even agreed with her mob handlers that they will kill him, by faking a drug overdose, when he’s no longer useful. At first, Lorna is willing to go along with this sinister arrangement, until a sequence of events reignite the flame of humanity inside her. The Dardennes’ portrait of Lorna is brilliantly nuanced; it’s there to be explored and queried and debated as the film offers subtle, changing lines of communication between us and Lorna. For most of the film we witness the cold language of currency exchange between Lorna and everyone she meets – a language we recognise as a poor substitute for decent human behaviour but which also reveals how lonely and desperate she is. It’s only later that we come to see Lorna’s hard exterior as no less a performance than the cuts and bruises she tries to fake to seek a divorce on false grounds of physical abuse. Dobroshi gives a terrific performance, as does Renier, making his third appearance in a film by the Dardennes, masters of turning grim social realities into deep explorations of human behaviour. By the time Lorna’s Silence reaches its quiet, unusual, reflective finale, the film feels almost spiritual in its investigation of a lost soul. – Dave Calhoun, Time Out London

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Running Time: 
French and Albanian with English subtitles
Arta Dobroshi, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Alban Ukaj
Screenplay by: 
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

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