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Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh both shine in this touching and moving tale of passionate love between two outsiders. Written by Heldenbergh and Mieke Dobbels, the drama slips between the couple’s first intense encounters and their later fight against the illness that threatens their daughter Maybelle.

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He is the embodiment of the true artisan, a bearded wild man living off the land, obsessed with Americana; she is a tattooed vixen, wild and free spirited; they meet in their bluegrass band, singing oldfashioned songs about this world and the next to the accompaniment of violins, banjo and slide guitar. The bluegrass soundtrack had me worried initially, but it is really lovely and so perfect for the authenticity of the story. No wonder this film enjoyed a 10-minute standing ovation at the Berlin Film Festival (and won the Audience Award) and went on to screen at Cannes and Tribeca. It’s Belgium’s submission for the 2014 foreign language film Oscar category – they deserve to win.

Out to own on DVD by Studiocanal from 25th November 2013

Words by Anna Bang

Tags

anna bang, Johan Heldenbergh, Mieke Dobbels, Veerle Baetens,