PRODS Jacques-Henri & Olivier Bronckart, Jani Thiltges, Sylvie Pialat, Thierry Spicher
SCR Joachim Lafosse, Matthieu Reynaert, Thomas Bidegain
CAM Jean-François Hensgens
ED Sophie Vercruysse
PROD DES Anna Falguères
PROD CO Versus Productions / Samsa Films / Les Films du Worso / Box Productions / Prime Time / RTBF / RTS
Un prophète’s Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim reunite as the de facto father and son who send the younger man’s wife—played by Émilie Dequenne—spiralling into madness. Joachim Lafosse’s gripping psychological drama features a riveting performance from Dequenne as a put-upon mother who cannot withstand the the pressures exerted by the two men who dominate her life.
"Our Children begins somewhat mysteriously with a woman lying in a hospital bed giving instructions for a funeral… The woman in the bed (Émilie Dequenne, more than fulfilling the promise of her debut in the Dardennes’ Rosetta) is a Belgian schoolteacher. She falls in love with and marries a handsome Moroccan man (Tahir Rahim) who lives with a doctor (Niels Arestrup) as a kind of surrogate son. (The actors are reprising something of their relationship in Jacques Audiard’s Un prophète but Arestrup’s character is even more corrupt and controlling and Rahim’s more passive.) The doctor treats his surrogate daughter-in-law as a slave and a scapegoat, and her husband falls in line with him. She has four children in five years—three girls and a boy. They are her only joy and her only reason for living. Exhaustion and the daily assault on her self-worth by the two men cause her to lose her job and, gradually, her mind. The film is based on a real-life story that made headlines in the Belgian press. Lafosse explores the psychological and political truth beneath the tabloid clichés in a spare but furious attack on patriarchal authority. As tragedy, Our Children is both classical and contemporary."—Amy Taubin, Film Comment