The Giants
Drug use, sex secne, coarse language and violence
Belgium/France/Luxembourg Director: Bouli Lanners Featuring: Martin Nissen, Zacharie Chasseriaud, Paul Bartel, Marthe Keller, Karim Leklou, Didier Toupy Language: French with subtitles Running time: 84 minutes
Brothers Seth 15 and Zak 13, are at a loss, without a parent in sight. Mother rings once or twice on Zak's little mobile to offer another excuse for not coming to get them. No sign of dad, Grandpa is dead. With their friend Danny tagging along, they are out in the gorgeous, verdant countryside of central Belgium. The river runs right through the forest and cornfields can hide them when required. They must fend for themselves against both nature and man. Adults, that is. They rent grandpa's house to crooks with Russian connections and are swindled. But not all the adults they meet are reprobates; a kindly woman with a down syndrome daughter takes them in for a while, but nature is not so kind. But they are kids and make the best of it. They have fun despite their plight, whether plundering the bathroom of a holiday home and making a party of the make up and hair bleach, or pigging out on pizza with hot sauce (for better sexual satisfaction, boasts Zak). For all the boisterous fun, Zak is forever missing his mum. The journey of these three giants to the realisation that they are after all, alone in this world and must face it together is what the film is about. It's contemplative and slow (for the most part) with a couple of short bursts of violence when Angel menaces his brother and the friends. The Giants is a festival film, by which I mean it is for discerning movie palates, prepared to go with the flow of the leisurely pace that contrasts with the intensity. It's not mainstream cinema - although our survivors still 'sail off into the sunset'. Original review: Andrew Urban Extracted by Sally Oetterli