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I wish I had more screenshots for this one. There are so many frames here that are exquisite to look at. The girl leaning out of a window with flowers, just the three kids and the expressions on their faces, people looking for the missing kid on the mountains and just close-ups of Jean looking so heartbroken. I had no difficulty getting into this film on the other hand. It starts off like a simple tale with a moral, the kind of story one reads as a kid but there is no preaching or painting with a broad brush here. The characters are all so human and just feel so real. The cast is perfect, especially the kids and everyone manages to convey everything perfectly without requiring any dialogue at all. I could’ve definitely used less title cards in fact. Some of them (“Even the portrait had abandoned him now”) felt superfluous. But that’s a minor complaint really. I was surprised by some of the turns the story took (it definitely stopped being a simple story after the first third or so) but loved the way these were handled. The conflicts felt so palpable and the scene where Jean kisses Arlette repeatedly on the cheeks choked me up a little. By the time we get to the end of the film, I am pretty sure I felt a tear roll down. This was just lovely. I can’t wait to watch Carnival in Flanders now.

Grade: B+

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