Our Children (2013)
Critic Consensus: A wrenching, quietly violent psychodrama, Our Children has the courage to ask difficult questions, and the strength to leave the answers to the viewer.
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Critic Reviews for Our Children
It's an interesting way to tell a story and a devastating journey, particularly since it's based on a real-life incident.
This is a taut psychological study, based on a true story, of the complexities of personal power relationships that begins with the kind of shattering revelation that would be the conclusion of most films.
There is no whodunit here -- the horror is plain in the opening shots -- and the how is presented with great restraint, but the why remains veiled and mysterious long after the film has ended.
Our Children was inspired by a real-life Belgian tragedy, but director Joachim LaFosse has built that news item into his own micro-portrait of coercion dipped in kindness.
Audience Reviews for Our Children
Even though the first scene eliminates some of the impact that the end should cause, one cannot deny how powerful and moving this film is - and Émilie Dequenne is fantastic, conveying with such agonizing intensity the whole suffering of a depressed woman.
There is an old saying that as embracing as family can be, it can also be a trap. With the sobering movie "Our Children," we are given the most extreme example of that possible, beginning with hints of an unspeakable crime that is eventually revealed.
For Murielle(Emilie Dequenne), her own family history has been tumultuous before meeting Mounir(Tahar Rahim), as exemplified by her difficult older sister Francoise(Stephane Bissot). Even at the young age of 20, Murielle is ready to settle down with Mounir, even as she is cautioned by Mounir's stepfather Andre(Niels Arestrup) to take her time. She doesn't.
Still, this is a family with its warning signs if one is looking for them. Andre is only married to Fatima(Mounia Raoui) so she could get her papers. But otherwise he has no apparent outside social life, as he is invited along to Mounir and Murielle's honeymoon. Mounir has failed his exams, so he has settled down to work in Andre's office.
Devastating and hard to watching places, this is an important film that will longer in the memory.
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