Movie Review: Girl Unknown (2016)
The Belgian drama film Girl Unknown (2016) is a suspenseful and moving exploration of guilt, responsibility, and the social issues that can lead to tragedy. The film tells the story of Jenny Davin, a dedicated general practitioner who refuses to answer her door to a late-night caller. The next morning, she learns that the caller was a young woman who has been found dead, and the police have no way of identifying her.
Shocked and guilt-stricken, Jenny resolves to discover the name of the girl so she will not be buried anonymously. Her investigation takes her into the underbelly of Liège, Belgium, where she encounters a world of prostitution, poverty, and despair. Jenny soon discovers that the girl was more than just a stranger; she was a human being with a story to tell.
Girl Unknown is a powerful and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about our responsibility to others and the systems that can contribute to social injustice. The film is beautifully shot and acted, with Adèle Haenel giving a particularly memorable performance as Jenny Davin.
The film explores a number of complex themes, including:
- Guilt and responsibility: Jenny’s guilt over not answering her door to the girl leads her to embark on a quest to learn more about her life and death. In the process, she comes to realize that she is not the only one who is responsible for the girl’s fate.
- Social injustice: The film highlights the social issues that can contribute to tragedy, such as poverty, prostitution, and lack of access to healthcare. Jenny’s investigation takes her into the underbelly of Liège, where she sees firsthand the challenges that many people face.
- The importance of identity: The film also explores the importance of identity. The girl is known only as “the unknown girl” until Jenny discovers her name. This serves as a reminder that every human being has a unique story and deserves to be remembered.
Girl Unknown was critically acclaimed upon its release, with praise for its direction, acting, and screenplay. The film won several awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Deauville American Film Festival and the César Award for Best Actress for Adèle Haenel.
Girl Unknown is a powerful and thought-provoking film that is sure to stay with you long after you watch it. It is a must-see for fans of international cinema and anyone who is interested in social justice issues.