In LORNA'S SILENCE (Sony), the Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, shooting on location in Liège, use symbolic and theatrical elements to transcend practical naturalism. Arta Dobroshi stars as an Albanian immigrant for whom gangsters have arranged a paid marriage with Claudy (Jérémie Renier), a drug addict, in order to make her a Belgian citizen. They plan to kill him off so that she can, in turn, marry a Russian immigrant—and her silence costs Claudy his life. With recurring shots of locks and keys, the Dardennes suggest the fear and exclusion that suffuse the prosperous West and Lorna herself, and the story builds to a terrifying episode of Shakespearean madness that, with its implications of the supernatural, dramatizes, against the coldhearted demands of reason, the resistance of moral conscience.
The New Yorker, February 15 & 22, 2010
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