Film-Philosophy 17 (1):367-382 (2013)

The object of this study is the presence and the operation of space in the films of the Dardenne brothers. In this paper, we will examine three films - Rosetta , The Child and The Silence of Lorna - and present the argument that they depict an original account of the contemporary European city as a totality (in this case an eastern Belgian steel town). The construction of the characters, their relationships, and the moral implications of their actions are usually the most discussed aspect of the Dardennes' cinema. Instead, we want to shift focus to the city, focusing on its concrete, visceral materiality. The aim of this paper is to chart out the leaden landscape of these films, by tracing the movements of the protagonists in two particular kinds of recurring spaces: the woods that lie next to motorways in Rosetta and The Silence of Lorna , and the motorways that feature prominently in The Child . Even though these spaces are the left-over spaces of the city, cut out and discarded from the inner spaces of the city, they are still heavily inscribed and symbolic sites. Not only do they move the plot forward and are expressive of the characters that inhabit them, they also engage in a sustained, though understated, political critique
Keywords urban landscape  Dardenne  non-place  political
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/film.2013.0021
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,792
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Habermas in Pleasantville: Cinema as Political Critique.Robert Porter - 2007 - Contemporary Political Theory 6 (4):405-418.
La promesse et l’intrigue.Marlène Zarader - 2008 - Cités 33 (1):83-96.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Joseph Mai (2010) Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.R. D. Crano - 2011 - Film-Philosophy 15 (2):119-125.
Urban Void and the Deconstruction of Neo-Platonic City-Form.Abraham Akkerman - 2009 - Ethics, Place and Environment 12 (2):205 – 218.
Matrimonio di Lorna, L'Enfant e Rosetta dei fratelli Dardenne.Mario Pezzella, Thea Rimini & Katia Rossi - 2009 - Iride: Filosofia e Discussione Pubblica 22 (1):195-206.
Christina's Worlds: Negotiating Childhood in the City.Jessica C. Zacher - 2009 - Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association 45 (3):262-279.
The Wall.Phillip Roberts - 2010 - Environment, Space, Place 2 (2):29-43.


Added to PP index

Total views
70 ( #134,318 of 2,342,471 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #514,928 of 2,342,471 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes