Cannes Film Festival: still moving with their film “Tori and Lokita” on refugees, the Dardenne brothers towards a third Palme d’or?

Twice Palme d’Or, in 1999 for Rosetta and The Child in 2005, Jean-Pierre and Jean-Luc Dardenne are seeking a third with Tori and Lokita, which deals with the wandering in Belgium of two Beninese refugee minors. Always social, talented and overwhelming, the duo of Belgian directors still hits the mark.

Cruel and revolting

Freshly landed in Belgium from Benin, Lokita, who is approaching 18, fell in love with Tori, about ten years old, whom she met on arrival and whom she considers to be her brother. To reimburse their smuggler, they participate in drug trafficking and she must submit sexually to the dealer. Separated by the trafficker with whom they work, their friendship will cause irreparable damage.

The Dardenne brothers once again concoct a beautiful original scenario to stigmatize a contemporary reality: African economic immigration to Europe. The friendship that unites Lokita and Tori touches the heart in the bond it establishes with their regretted country of origin, left to send money to their families. The attitude of their “employers” towards them is all the more cruel and revolting.

Militant humanism

Faithful to the realism of their films, Jean-Pierre and Jean-Luc Dardenne delve into it a little more by favoring the sequence shot which accentuates their veracity. But as a Cameroonian pointed out on leaving the room, she is however a little damaged by the lack of accent in these two young Africans who have just arrived from their native Benin, as if they had lived for ten years. in Belgium. A detail, but which reflects a negligence to which other cinemas, notably American, are very attentive.

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This downside does not taint Tori and Lokita which remains in the exact line of the cinema of Jean-Pierre and Jean-Luc Dardenne. Their social fiber is once again transposed into an intact humanist militancy, with their customary, remarkable and renewed formal outline.

The sheet

Gender : drama
Director: Jean-Pierre and Jean-Luc Dardenne
Actors: Pablo Schils, Joely Mbundu, Alban Ukaj
Country : Belgium / France
Duration : 1h28
Exit : September 28, 2022
Distributer : Diaphana Cast

Summary: Today in Belgium, a young boy and a teenager who came alone from Africa oppose their invincible friendship to the difficult conditions of their exile.

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