Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the brothers of Belgian cinema
These two Belgian film-makers are famous around the world for their social cinema that uses a pared-down style and often difficult techniques to deal with dramatic, profound subjects. The Dardenne brothers have created a demanding body of work and are considered as the major representatives of European social cinema.
The Dardenne brothers were born and grew up in Seraing, an industrial suburb of Liège. After studying dramatic art and philosophy respectively, the brothers made militant videos about interventions and struggles in workers' towns; these form the basis of their socially-minded cinema. They then created the production company Dérives and founded the company Films Dérives Productions in 1981, which produced six feature-length films, and the Films du Fleuve, which finances their productions and helps to produce a number of art films.
The cinema of the Dardenne brothers is rooted in the region of their childhood and often deals with dramatic social themes (instability, clandestinity, marriages of convenience, depression and immigration).
In 1999, the Dardenne brothers became internationally famous by winning their first Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, for Rosetta, which launched the career of Emilie Dequenne. The making of The Son in 2002 also resulted in Olivier Gourmet winning the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2005, they won a second Palme d'Or with The Child, a new work about the precarious situation of a young couple. Lorna's Silence, a 2008 drama about illegal immigration and marriages of convenience, earned them a third Cannes award for Best Screenplay.
All these awards made the Dardenne brothers the most frequently rewarded directors at the Festival and made Belgian cinema famous around the world.
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