****/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B
starring Jérémie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Assita Ouedraogo, Rasmane Ouedraogo
written and directed by Luc Dardenne & Jean-Pierre Dardenne
by Bryant Frazer Since the mid-1990s, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have been the standard-bearers for French-language Belgian cinema. Born in Engis and raised in nearby Seraing (both located in the industrial Belgian province of Liège), the Dardennes started making documentaries in the 1970s, followed by a pair of narrative films they immediately disavowed. 1996's La promesse was a completely fresh start. The Dardennes' non-fiction work demonstrated a social consciousness that remained in effect once they found their narrative voice, and it's amazing how fully realized this effort is, exhibiting many of the formal strategies and much of the narrative sensibility that would serve them well over the next decade and a half.