What I admire most about European film making (French films to be exact) is the scarcity of cinematic gimmickry when telling their stories. While some quarters find this technique "dry", I particularly prefer such tack and be manipulated by the moving pictures as they happen - no CG effects, no canned sounds, no foreboding music. This is why I'm a fan of von Trier, Vinterberg, and the Dogma movement of the Scandinavian artists. These to me are the people who lay their narrative straight, thus the reaction invoked is more natural, more basic!
Alban Ukaj plays Sokol, Lorna's Albanian husband who also dreams of an E.U. card! His follow up was a Bosnian film called "Shopping". Where are you now Mr. Ukaj?
Belgium's The Dardenne Brothers are among my favorite artists! I have been a fan since 2002's "Le Fils" (The Son).
"Lorna's Silence", aka "Lorna's Marriage", chronicles the life of an Albanian girl starting a new life in Belgium.
Things are looking up for Lorna who finally gets her Belgian citizenship after conveniently marrying a junky (Jeremie Renier, not the Oscar-nominated Hollywood actor, mind you). She is also about to open a small cafe. But all these were handed down to her by Fabio, a taxi driver who weaves his influence as a wanna-be underground kingpin. Once Lorna gets her E.U. card, Fabio plans to have Claudy (Renier) killed from drug overdose. Trouble is, Claudy is trying to fight off his addiction. Though Lorna doesn't seem to care about Claudy, her actions show otherwise. She tells Fabio she doesn't want him dead - so she fabricates stories of being physically abused. That way, it would free Claudy from the shackles of crafty Fabio who plans to married Lorna off to another foreigner in need of an E.U. card (for just 10,000 euros). But one day, Lorna finds Claudy dead. And she believes she's pregnant with his baby. Or is she?
Arta Dobroshi simmers as Lorna! This is a feat considering she couldn't speak a word of French except the days of the week prior to filming this project.
Though the film runs a little longer than it should, the scenes flow seamlessly, and editing is brisk, gradually taking its viewers for the ride. We were hooked! By the time we find Lorna alone in a cabin, sleeping off her dilemma, we were mentally clapping for brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc's exquisite story telling skills!
If you love your movies, "Lorna's Silence" is a must-see!
(In French, with English subtitles)