Director: Agnieszka Holland (France – 1992)
Set in rural France and based on a newspaper story about a child’s dissapearence, Agnieska Holland’s follow up to ‘Europa Euroa’ dissects the crumbling, bourgeois veneer of the Duval family, represented by Serge (Francois Clkuzet), a stern country veterinarian, his unstable wife Elizabeth (Brigitte Rouan) and their children, Olivier and Nadine, whose idyllic life is shattered when Olivier fails to return home.
Six years on, a prostitute claiming to be Olivier turns up at a Parisian police station and is taken back to the house by his mother, but claustrophobic tensions escalate as Olivier’s revelations of extra-terrestrial encounters suggest memories of child abuse. Initially delving with confidence into shadowy areas of incest and rape, Holland recoils all too quickly, and opts for a clinical distance. That apart, Bernard Zitzermann’s sublime languid photography keeps it watchable- as do the performances in this compelling and eloquently paced fable.
Time Out (London) – Issue 1923 – 27th July 2007 – Page 83