TIFF 2016: ‘Le Ciel Flamand’

Written and directed by award-winning Belgian filmmaker Peter Monsaert, Le Ciel Flamand – which translates to “Flemish Heaven” in English – centers around a seasoned brothel owner, Sylvie (Sara Vertongen), as she attempts to protect her six-year-old daughter, Eline (Esra Vandenbussche), from the often violent reality of the family business.  The film also stars Wim Willaert (Offline, Cafard) as Eline’s uncle Dirk, a bus driver with whom she spends the afternoons while her mother is at work.

Le Ciel Flamand offers a beautiful crafted and tightly focused narrative along with thoughtfully executed cinematography.  Beginning with hazy, dream-like shots, the images themselves become more complex as the story progresses.  It is a fitting visual accompaniment to a film that is primarily concerned with the loss of innocence and the lengths that parents will go to keep their children safe.

Aesthetically accomplished as it is, the film’s crowing achievement is its characterization of Sylvie – her controversial profession takes a back seat throughout the film to her bravery, strength, and commitment to her daughter.


Le Ciel Flamand screens at TIFF on: 

Saturday, September 10 at 11:00 a.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (press and industry)
Sunday, September 11 at 5:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Tuesday, September 13 at 9:30 a.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Thursday, September 15 at 11:45 a.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre
Sunday, September 18 at 3:15 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox

Rating: 14A
Language: Dutch/French
Runtime: 112 minutes

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Buy tickets here.

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