MIFF 2011: The Giants (Les géants)

31 Jul

By Mia Robinson

Drama/Comedy

84 minutes

French with subtitles

Directed by Bouli Lanners (Eldorado and Ultranova), The Giants could be described as a Belgian art version of the classic coming of age film Stand By Me.  However, the breathtaking Belgian setting and the performances by the three main characters bring originality to an otherwise familiar tale.  Left to fend for themselves, two teenage brothers along with their sidekick friend look for ways to score pot, make money, and survive on their own.  They decide to rent out their mothers home to a local drug dealer and conflict arises as they are taken advantage of and bullied by the scumbag adults that they deal with.

The film captures the spirit, naivety and sense of adventure of being a young boy.  Many comic moments instil sentiment for a time in life when playfulness reigned, risks were taken without worrying over the consequences, and your actions could still be innocent.  And as a viewer, a sense of resistance is also felt as the boys face the need to grow up in order to survive.

If nothing else, whilst watching this film, the fact that there was audible synchronised gasping from the audience as the camera scanned the amazing Belgian mountains and forests should speak for itself.

7 out of 10.

The Giants is out through O’Brother.

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