Belgium, France, Italy


Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children's home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn't recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage...

Director's Statement

Since we don't know what to write to define our intentions in this screenplay, we have consulted our work notebooks, thinking that perhaps we would find a note, a few words or sentences in them that, better than a statement written after the fact, would show what guided and led us towards this new film. On January 20, 2006, following a work session, one of us wrote: "(...) this film would be the story of a woman who wants to save a kid, a violent kid like those that our society produces today, uncontrollable, on edge, wiry, mute. The story of a woman who could receive the violence of this kid and thereby allow him to overcome it. A mother." The screenplay that we have written four years on is indeed the portrait of a mother, of a woman who loves a kid that she meets by chance, who loves him with a love that will be able to soothe his anger and violence. What violence? What suffering does she feed off? A father who no longer wants to be his father, a father for whom he no longer matters and to whom he clings all the more as he tries to pull away. How to forget this father who no longer wants you when you're his offspring? How can you stop looking for him, how can you break free of him to start living at last? And so the film is also the portrait of a father, of several fathers that the kid will free himself of thanks to a woman, a woman met by chance.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Written by: Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Produced by: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd, Andrea Occhipinti

Cinematography: Alain Marcoen

Editing: Marie-Hélène Dozo

Production Design: Igor Gabriel

Cast: Thomas Doret, Cécile de France, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Egon di Mateo

Nominations and Awards

  • European Screenwriter 2011
  • European Film 2011
  • European Director 2011
  • European Actress 2011
  • Feature Film Selection 2011