The Giants (Les géants) (15)
13 August - 16 August 2012
Belgian director Bouli Lanners (Eldorado) was a painter before he turned to acting and filmmaking. There’s ample evidence of that background in the sumptuous visuals of The Giants, with lush landscapes that show the majestic beauty of nature at its most seductive. With echoes of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn this coming-of-age story is gritty and powerful, featuring outstanding performances from its three young leads.
Zak and Seth, two boys in their mid-teens, are left to their own devices and dwindling funds by an absentee mother working abroad. Shacked up for the summer at their late grandfather’s rural cottage, they strike up a warm friendship with Dany, another unsupervised local teenager. When Dany gets in trouble with his brother, the group embarks on a journey downriver to try to fend for itself. What begins as a summer adventure becomes increasingly difficult as the trio of runaways learn some harsh lessons about the freedom and dangers of life on the road.
The Giants is a beautiful example of European filmmaking and a great addition to the canon of work about the adolescent experience. Moody and atmospheric, with an excellent soundtrack by the Belgian folk singer The Bony King of Nowhere, this film is a dark fairytale and speaks as much about disappointment as it does about achievement.