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À perdre la raison | Joachim Lafosse, 2013
Belgium | French with English subtitles | Format: DCP | 111 minutes
How does it happen that a vibrant, capable young woman loses her sense of self-worth and ends up destroying what she most loves? Belgian director Joachim Lafosse structures an all too familiar contemporary story that was headline news in Europe as a classical tragedy. Émilie Dequenne more than fulfills the promise of her award-winning performance in the Dardenne brothers’ Rosetta with this portrait of a young school teacher who marries a Moroccan immigrant (Tahar Rahim) and has four children with him, while gradually becoming aware of how much he is in thrall to his mentor, a domineering doctor (Niels Arestrup). Rahim and Arestrup reprise their father/son relationship from Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet but with an even more corrupt twist. Lafosse’s direction of this perverse narrative of patriarchal power and female oppression is like steel wrapped in silk.