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Directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne discuss their unique filmmaking process, which attempts to ‘surpass the limits.’


Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are known for their humanistic films about the working class, which are anchored in realism by one-takes and understated performances. When I last spoke to the Belgian co-directors, who are also brothers, I described them as “master architects of realist cinema who have thrown away the blueprints…by allowing their characters to surprise them in long takes, during which the camera seemingly moves without agenda.”



This has never been truer than in their latest film, Young Ahmed. The Dardennes always meticulously design their filmmaking process to capture verisimilitude (for example, they shoot chronologically)—but here, working with a non-actor (Idir Ben Addi), very opaque subject matter, and a wandering camera, they exceed their own formalistic expectations. The result is a movie that is bursting at the seams with rage and chaos despite its spare approach, and that’s exactly what the brothers intended.

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Source: No Film School