A boy is stabbed to death in the parking lot of a shopping mall. The only witness is his best friend, Jesse, whose life is changed forever by that event. He finds it impossible to deal with the questions of his family and the friends he rides around with on his BMX, or to describe the violence he witnessed. Jesse’s silence isolates him from those around him and creates a distance between him and the increasingly big world.
(Zoersel, Belgio, 1983) since graduating, he has made two shorts, The Close and We Know. His first feature, Violet, won the Jury Prize at Berlinale Generations in 2014 and was then selected for New Directors New Films at Moma New York, and in Competition at Torino Film Festival. His second feature, Hellhole, was selected for Berlinale Panorama in 2019. Ghost Tropic, his third feature, premiered three months later at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs 2019 in Cannes. Here is his fourth feature film, and was selected at the Berlinale Encounters. He teaches film at Luca School of Arts in Brussels.
Taurus (cm, 2005), Pillar (cm, 2006), The Close (cm, 2007), We Know (cm, 2009), Violet (2014), Hellhole (2019), Ghost Tropic (2019), Here (2023).
“Violet departs from an act of violence. It initiates a very simple narrative: a process of grief and loneliness through the eyes of a teenager. Both in form and content the film tries to disarm the violence of its opening. The cruel, distant observation of a murder through a cctv monitor, in its silence and indifference, was a necessary start. It was for me a force, a presence that demanded opposition. Not relying on a defined psychological drive, but on the tools of film, I hoped to evoke something of the isolation and powerlessness of the main character.”
César De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer, Brent Minne