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THE KID WITH A BIKE: The closed-off world of the brothers Dardenne

THE KID WITH A BIKE: The closed-off world of the brothers Dardenne

THE KID WITH A BIKE is probably the fourth or fifth Dardenne brothers film I’ve seen, and I’m always surprised by a few things. One, how similarly their films are executed in terms of style, tone, theme and even content, and two, how few people have even heard of these guys outside of cinephile circles. These Belgian brothers, infamously warm and joke-y in the press but earnest in their social commentary filmmaking, keep churning out the neo-realist work at the rate of roughly one every two to three years. Often, the story involves a couple, a child and a series of agonizing moral dilemmas. Well, maybe not so agonizing for the audience, who can usually identify right and wrong (like when a new father in L’ENFANT thinks it’s a good idea to sell the baby), but for the characters themselves, whose moral confusion is typically set in a hard knock, European landscape…