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Belgium selects ‘Children’ for Oscars

Joachim Lafosse pic may be controversial choice

BRUSSELS — Joachim Lafosse’s drama “Our Children” has been chosen to represent Belgium in the race for the foreign-language Oscar.

It’s the young helmer’s fifth feature, developing his interest in intense, unconventional relationships.

The story concerns a young couple, Murielle and Mounir (Emilie Dequenne, Tahar Rahim), who set up home in smalltown Belgium with Andre (Niels Arestup), a wealthy doctor who has been a sort of godfather to Mounir.

This arrangement puts a strain on Murielle and, as one child follows another, the pressure grows until she can take no more.

“Our Children” was freely inspired by a 2007 case in which Genevieve Lhermitte killed her five children and then tried to end her own life. She is serving life imprisonment.

Selection may be controversial in Belgium, where the Lhermitte case remains notorious. Media coverage after the film’s May release was dominated by discussion of the relationship between reality and fiction, with the film’s qualities taking a back seat.

Pic preemed at Cannes in Un Certain Regard, with Dequenne getting the nod for best actress.

Known in French as “A Perdre la raison,” pic is the third Oscar candidate to come out of Liege-based Versus Prods. However, neither “Illegal” by Olivier Masset-Depasse nor “Eldorado” by Bouli Lanners made the cut.

Les Films du Losange handles world sales.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for foreign-language film on Jan. 15.