Films & Schedules

  • Le Silence de Lorna
    Lorna's Silence

  • Jean-Pierre Dardenne

  • Luc Dardenne

105 minutes
Colour/Black and White/35mm

Production Company:
Les Films du Fleuve/ Archipel 35/Lucky Red/RTBF/ ARTE France Cinéma/ARTE/WDR
Executive Producer:
Olivier Bronckart
Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd
Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Production Designer:
Igor Gabriel
Alain Marcoen
Marie-Hélène Dozo
Julie Brenta
Principal Cast: Arta Dobroshi, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Alban Ukaj, Morgan Marinne

Canadian Distributor:
Seville Pictures
US Distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics
International Sales Agent:
Celluloid Dreams

Sunday September 0706:00PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1009:45AM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

The latest film from the Dardenne brothers extends the themes of the renowned Belgian filmmakers' earlier work by offering a sharp critique of the injustices borne by society's less privileged. Le Silence de Lorna focuses on a young Albanian woman involved in a precarious immigration scam. Desperate to stay in the Belgian city of Liège and buoyed by dreams of a better life, Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) allows herself to be wooed by the schemes of an unscrupulous gangster, Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione).

Fabio connives a marriage of convenience for her with a low-life junkie called Claudy (Jérémie Renier, also appearing in this year's L'Heure d'été). Once Lorna has obtained citizenship, Fabio offers her a princely sum to leave Claudy and marry a Russian mafioso also looking for legal visa status. For the scam to work, Fabio plans to dispose of Claudy – quite literally. However, struck by her conscience, Lorna instead tries to conjure grounds for divorce.

The inner life of a Dardenne brothers film is always emotionally complex, and the moral compass of Le Silence de Lorna revolves around whether Lorna will stay silent about Fabio's plans or cast aside her own chance for prosperity for the sake of Claudy's rather pathetic life. In one scene of classic Dardenne incongruity, Lorna inflicts harm on herself to fake “evidence” of Claudy's abuse while simultaneously trying to help him kick his drug habit.

In Le Fils and their Palme d'Or-winners Rosetta and L'Enfant, the Dardennes demonstrated an unwavering talent for crafting deeply emotional material while avoiding sentimentality. Using underclass city settings, natural lighting and minimal, if any, music, they have evolved a characteristically hard-knock form of social realism. Le Silence de Lorna continues in that vein, the film's restrained aesthetic only heightening the drama that unfolds in Lorna's stark life and adding an austere kind of redemption to her moral quandary.

Dimitri Eipides

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne were born in Belgium. Together they founded the film production companies Dérives and Les Films du Fleuve. In addition to several documentaries, they have co-directed seven feature films, including Falsch (87), Je pense à vous (92), La Promesse (96) and Le Fils (02), which was featured in the Festival's inaugural Visions programme in 2002. Both Rosetta (99) and L'Enfant (05) received the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. More recently, they created the segment Dans l'Obscurité for the anthology film Chacun son cinéma (07) and directed the feature Le Silence de Lorna (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award