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Directed by Bas Devos

  • Belgium 2014; 82 min
  • Original version: Flemish
  • Genre: Thriller
    • Best Film - Berlinale Generation 14plus
    • Best Director - CINERAMA.BC
    • Daniel Langlois Innovation Award, AQCC Award - FNC Montréal
    • Georges Delerue Award for Best Sound Design - FF Gent


15-year-old Jesse is the only one who witnessed the stabbing of his friend Jonas. Now he has to face his family and friends from the BMX riders crew and explain the unexplainable – how he feels about it. The looks of his close ones and his inability to answer their questions gradually isolate Jesse and the growing grief prevents him from finding comfort.

Director's Statement

The way the formal aspects of film and films materiality can dictate the content has always intrigued me. The way light and dark, noise and silence and time and space alter the meaning of what is shown is vastly enigmatic and seemingly beyond comprehension.
Often I found myself moved not by what was shown but by how it reached me. I connected to certain films be- cause, on a deeper level, I connected to the way the film- maker saw the world. How the light wakes up a space or how the screen-space separates two people. How screen- time feels like private-time or how complete silence makes me aware of my own presence, my own posture. These sensory experiences defined and refined how I perceive the medium. I love stories. I love telling them. Drawing them. But in film I felt much more attracted to something on the border of the narrative. I wanted to film windows. And lamps. And fires.
The surface of things. The surface of people. Violet departs from an act of violence. It initiates a very simple narrative: a process of grief and loneliness through the eyes of a teenager. Both in form and content the film tries to disarm the violence of its opening. The cruel, distant observation of a murder through a cctv- monitor, in its silence and indifference, was a necessary start. It was for me a force, a presence that demanded op- position. Not relying on a defined psychological drive, but on the tools of film, I hoped to evoke something of the isolation and powerlessness of the main character. Through observing him and his surroundings, I believe something can be seen that is harder to articulate, but that has a stronger power than the underlying violence. A belief, maybe, that people connect not in what we understand but in what we do not.
Maybe here for me content and form truly converge, in not knowing why exactly things are the way they are.
Finally, I would like to stress the obvious. This film is not the work of one, but of many makers. Every mem- ber of the cast and crew helped me, not in ‘realizing my vision’, but in letting me see, hear and feel things in a dif- ferent way, previously unimagined.




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