Belgian film rides on hope

Vernon Film Society presents French-Belgian film, A Kid With a Bike, at the Towne Cinema Monday.

Samantha (Cécile de France) and Cyril (Thomas Doret) star in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike

Samantha (Cécile de France) and Cyril (Thomas Doret) star in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike

A Belgium-French co-production, The Kid with a Bike is the next screening of the Vernon Film Society.

It was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for a 2012 Golden Globe award.

The film is directed by the Dardenne brothers, who have been winning prizes for 15 years now, including two Palmes d’Or at Cannes, for their realistic portraits set in working class towns in post-industrial, French speaking Belgium.

The title has echoes of the classic Italian film The Bicycle Thief and portrays a fiery tempered 11 year old, Cyril Catoul (Thomas Doret), whose thoughts are never far away from his bike.

His single, dispirited father has dumped Cyril into a children’s home, taking his own and Cyril’s bike with him. The son cannot believe his father has sold his bike and that he doesn’t want him anymore. When he finally gets the bike back it is stolen twice, which brings him into the orbit of a local gang.

There are touches of hope in the story, especially as Cyril finds a loving protector in the form of Samantha (Cécile de France). She gives up part of her life to take him in, protect him from jail, and provide unconditional love.

Full of heartbreaking betrayals and unexpected grace, The Kid with a Bike is a film about a child, abandoned to the elements, learning to become good.

The Vernon Film Society is showing The Kid with a Bike (with subtitles) Monday at the Vernon Towne Cinema at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. All tickets are $7 at the door and available at the theatre and the Bean Scene one week prior to the screening.