Child and Mother

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Cyril, in constant motion, fueled by a fury like that which burned in Rosetta (the eponymous protagonist of the Dardennes Brothers’ first fiction film), literally runs into Samantha and, knocking her off a chair and to the ground, wraps his arms around her.  It’s a startling (and beautiful) image, child and mother, roles reversed–and as some have noted, a “reverse Pieta.”

In “The Kid With A Bike, ” Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have again dealt with the relationship between parent and child.  After her first encounter with Cyril (Thomas Doret), Samantha (Cécile De France), with motives simultaneously totally mysterious and totally obvious is determined to soothe the frantic boy, and when the abandonment by his father is complete, to become his mother.

Some films, when ended and the room lights come up, vanish, like dreams.  Some lodge in your head, replaying.  The Kid and I have been walking around together since Monday. And yesterday, on 59th Street, I felt like I had projected Cyril out in front of me, into New York.  Had I lifted my Canon 5D, the image would have been lost, but five feet away with an iphone, I was invisible.

“The Kid With A Bike” opens today in New York and Los Angeles.

59th Street near 7th Avenue, New York City, 3/15/12

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