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.
Lafosse's of the material has the feel of a psychological crime scene investigation.
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.
At once beautifully realized and brutally uncompromising ...
Audience Reviews for Our Children
Devastating and hard to watch in places, this is an important film that will linger in the memory.
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.
I was very spectacle within the first half hour, watching life through different speeds and the start of a family, clearly leading to a tragedy. The the first hour is absent of any real lessons or deep morals and only demonstrates the struggles of having young children. Arestrup and Rahim work magic together again, and obviously have learned to have some of the greatest on screen chemistry between an elder and a young man in the last decade, thanks to the writing of Thomas Bidegain. Within the second half of the film you really get to see the tension, the somewhat psychotic lifestyle that is taking place. The normal struggles of a family become terrifying realizations of hostile behavior, anxiety and depression. Without real patience and any interest in dysfunctional situations, someone might find this film 'boring' and possibly even decide not to finish, but I would see that as a regretful decision.
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