With ‘Tori et Lokita’, two-time Palme d’Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne hold up a mirror to the viewer forcing us to confront their heartbreaking observations about the society we live in. Two teenagers fled Africa and ended up in Belgium. The harsh reality of refugee life brings Tori (Pablo Schils) and Lokita (Joely Mbundu) together; they try to build a life as brother and sister. A residence permit proves difficult to obtain, which means they are invisible to the world around them, but luckily they have each other. As always, the Dardennes worked with inexperienced actors. The chemistry between Pablo Schils and Joely Mbundu is phenomenal and leaves no one untouched. For ‘Tori et Lokita’, the Dardennes were awarded the 75th Anniversary Prize at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
‘Working in their rigorously lyrical drama-as-documentary style, the Dardennes place the audience on the hamster wheel of Tori and Lokita’s lives, in a way that’s both harrowing and immersive… The mad desperate scramble for money in “Tori and Lokita” becomes as charged as a thriller and as bracing as a slap in the face.’—Owen Gleiberman, Variety