Continuing down the path suggested by her previous films, Flemish auteur Fien Troch again explores the big mysteries of life in oblique if beautifully staged fashion in “Kid.” This stark Dutch-language feature contrasts stilted country/suburban tableaux with shaky handheld camerawork, effectively suggesting the suffocation and restrictions felt by the eponymous 7-year-old protag, though precise details are often lost in ellipses so frequent as to render the pic the arthouse equivalent of Swiss cheese. Beyond fests and local play, Euro broadcasters will want to have a look.Kid (Bent Simons, a natural) lives on a farm with his mother (Gabriele Carizzo) and teen brother (Maarten Meeusen). Dad’s nowhere in sight, and economically, things are a disaster. Kid instinctively feels something’s wrong, and occasionally acts irrationally, though he’s unaware of what the far-reaching consequences of the family’s situation might be. As in her previous “Unspoken” and moody debut “Someone Else’s Happiness,” Troch trusts auds will piece together their own idea of how the various beautiful pieces fit together, though the structure is too rigidly syncopated to engage on more than a purely formal level. Craft contributions are terrific.
A Cineart release of a Prime Time production, in association with N279 Entertainment, Versus Prod., with the participation of Augenschein Filmproduktion. (International sales: Media Luna Entertainment, Cologne, Germany.) Produced by Antonino Lombardo. Co-producers, Els Vandevorst, Jacques-Henri Bronckart, Olivier Bronckart. Directed, written by Fien Troch.
Camera (color, HD), Frank van den Eeden; editor, Nico Leunen; music, Senjan Jansen; art director, Walter Brugmans; costume designer, Judith van Herck; sound (Dolby Digital), Paul Maernoudt; casting, Troch. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (Alice in the City), Nov. 9, 2012. (In AFI, Thessaloniki film festivals.) Running time: 91 MIN.
Bent Simons, Maarten Meeusen, Gabriela Carizzo, Rit Ghoos, Sander van Sweevelt, Rene Jacobs.