Time Out says

Coming hot on the heels of Rosetta, another Belgian film which takes a long hard look at the woes of a working class teenage girl. Rosie (Coppens) also lives alone with her mum - or her 'sister', as Irene (de Roo) prefers to pretend in front of her boyfriends. At 13, Rosie is a loner with a taste for the steamier sort of romantic fiction, making her easy prey for a handsome delinquent like Jimi (Joost Wijnant), who rocks her world with his petty thieving and joyriding. Out of a warped and wounded kindness, Rosie picks up a crying baby and carries it off, playing happy families with Jimi at the oil works in the old part of town. Call me 'Mummy', she instructs the poor infant, louder and louder. You want to give her a good shake, and then you want to hug her. Somewhere in translation, Patrice Toye's movie has lost its original subtitle, 'The Devil in My Head,' which gave a hint that this is not just social realism, but something closer in spirit to the tortured psychodramas of pulp crime novelist Jim Thompson (The Killer Inside Me; The Grifters). Toye seems unsure just how much of a melodrama he wants to make - an alert viewer will tease out the twists well before the end - but the discrepancy between the flat, mundane treatment and the heightened American narrative hovering in the background works quite effectively. Pain in this film is too all-encompassing to be expressed in short, sharp shocks; instead Rosie endures a dulled, mute suffering. If Ken Loach had made Badlands it might have looked something like this: depressing, claustrophobic, not romantic, but innocent.

By: TCh


Release details

97 mins

Cast and crew

Patrice Toye
Patrice Toye
Aranka Coppens
Dirk Roofthooft
Frank Vercruyssen
Sara de Roo
Joost Wijnant
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