LORNA'S SILENCE (Dardenne Bros.)
There is no denying it. The Dardenne Bros' LORNA'S SILENCE is a breathtakingly beautiful exercise in minimalism. Arta Dobroshi perfectly channels her character's moral dilemma into palpable emotions.
While a confrontational drama of characters trapped in a social structure that is founded on a dog-eat-dog world, LORNA'S SILENCE is also a politically-relevant question of why these characters are suffering this way in order to gain Belgian citizenship. Belgium can very well be any other country, like Germany or the US. The resulting reality is depressing, but hopeful. The Dardenne Brothers know how to utilize sensitivity and subtlety.
Like the films of Filipino indie filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr. (particularly CHASSIS and AURORA), LORNA'S SILENCE evokes a feeling of regret for the main character as the plot draws to an end. There is a questioning of "Why?" that persists long after the film has ended (which is the same thing I experienced with Alix's mentioned films) and I liked it because it opens discussions.
Perhaps, LORNA'S SILENCE's only setback (my opinion anyway) is the suddenness and eccentricity of the third act. From a building momentum, the film dived into obscurity. It is a sad fate for the character, but I felt the emotion was rushed. I wasn't given enough transition period to cope.