Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Lorna's Silence

There are probably no other prominent contemporary filmmakers who focus so intently on the moral plight of the European underclasses (and, by extension, this country’s) as the Belgian brothers Dardenne, Jean-Pierre, and Luc. In their five previous films they’ve depicted in usually stark, aesthetically unenhanced terms not only the material deprivation which their protagonists experience but the life-altering ethical consequences their responses can entail. In films like L’enfant—the last Dardennes’ film to hit Buffalo—the moral dilemmas flow from decisions made in defiance or ignorance of social and legal rules. The Dardennes’ implicit point seems to be that want and desire place their characters in unusual situations where they grapple with strange new moral quandaries.


Martin Provost’s Séraphine relates an ostensibly true story of remarkable artistic achievement in the face of extraordinary difficulties. As Provost’s film plays out, it seems to gesture toward both inspiration and moralism.

Back to issue index