Set adrift in the chaotic Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince after the devastating 2010 earthquake, a trio of resourceful boys try to make the best of trying conditions in writer-director Jonas D'Adesky's modest and never entirely convincing drama, "Three Kids."

Set adrift in the chaotic Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince after the devastating 2010 earthquake, a trio of resourceful boys try to make the best of trying conditions in writer-director Jonas D’Adesky’s modest and never entirely convincing drama, “Three Kids.” Though conceived in a mode of docu-style realism with an improvising, non-pro cast, the film strains to insert plot points and psychological drama that don’t fit into the overall scheme. The most ambitious of several recent pics lensing in post-quake Haiti, “Kids” will struggle to gain traction in a brutal marketplace for such material.

Like a merry band, orphans Vitaleme, Mickenson and Pierre (Jules Vitaleme, Sima Mickenson and Pierre Jean Mary, effectively playing themselves) stick together in a boys’ home, which they flee when the quake strikes (poorly conveyed in a brief blackout sequence). Vitaleme’s past, darkened by parental abuse, is delivered in needlessly fragmented fashion as the lads seek shelter and maybe a bit of friendship from some cute girls who cross their path. A symbolic stone in a nearly flattened cathedral serves as a point of spiritual solace, on which D’Adesky could have built greater meaning.

Three Kids

Belgium

Production

A Resonances Films/Helicotronic presentation. Produced by Anthony Rey. Executive producer, Rey. Directed, written by Jonas D'Adesky.

Crew

Camera (color/B&W, DV), Benjamin Morel; editor, Gabriel Piron; music, Rafael Leloup; sound (stereo), Scorp; supervising sound editor, Jean-Francois Levillain; re-recording mixer, Julien Mizac; visual effects supervisor, Boris Gortz; assistant director, Steve Jean. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 8, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Jules Vitaleme, Sima Mickenson, Pierre Jean Mary, Dieuvela Innocent, Kaniolise Innocent, Sheyla Maximilien, Carrol Dunord, Pierre-Louis Benefice, Jean Akim Midi. (Haitian Creole, French dialogue)

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