The Ardennes


The Main 1 Sun, Apr 10, 2016 9:40 PM
The Main 3 Fri, Apr 22, 2016 9:45 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$13.00
Child (12 & Under):$7.00
Film Info
Original Title:D'ardennen
Premiere Status:Regional Premiere
Programs:- World Cinema
Release Year:2015
Runtime:92 min
(with English subtitles)
Print Source:Film Movement
Director:Robin Pront
Producer:Bart Van Langendonck
Cinematographer:Robrecht Heyvaert
Screenwriter:Robin Pront
Jeroen Perceval
Editor:Alain Dessauvage
Principal Cast:Jeroen Perceval
Veerle Baetens
Kevin Janssens
Filmography:Debut Feature


Robin Pront's feature-film debut opens with a powerful punch and continues with a slow burn downward spiral of brotherly betrayal and brutal retribution. After a robbery goes hopelessly wrong, Dave escapes the scene leaving his brother Kenny behind to take the rap. Flash forward four years and Dave has been able to turn his life around while time has stood still for Kenny, now out on parole, who was left simmering in jail. The palpable tension between Dave and Kenny builds to brutal and thrilling crescendo in the shadows of Belgium's Ardennes forest.


"Two brothers by blood and in crime struggle to maintain their dual relationship in 'The Ardennes,' a gritty Belgian pic that isn't as Cain-and-Abel-ish as it seems." - Hollywood Reporter

Director's Statement

The Ardennes tells the story of a complex relationship between two brothers, protagonist Dave and his brother Kenneth, who both bear the scars of their shared past, but each dealing with it in their own way.

The story, which pays great attention to character development, unfolds like a crime thriller that reaches its climax in the Ardennes (in Wallonia, the French-speaking southern region of Belgium). I wanted to explore the theme of loyalty between brothers and friends, with a specific focus on the harsh environment of these individuals. This is also a recurring theme in my previous short films, characters who act according to standards and values that are different from what is considered normal and who live in a world where violence is the solution and drugs are invariably present. I always had a great affinity for people who live at the margins of society and who seek,consciously or not, extremes. Despite the dark source material, the story also has humorous moments, because humor is a part of life: how people nevertheless try to make things bearable by finding humor in all situations,even if it might be out of place.

The complicated love triangle between Dave, Sylvie and Kenneth is central to the plot. It is the main thrust of the story. None of the three characters are happy with where they are right now in their lives and, although it is easy to portray Kenneth as the 'bad guy' of the story, this is not what interests me as a filmmaker. I wanted to explore the grey areas between good and evil and to ask myself why people are the way they are and do what they do. After all, everyone is a cute baby at birth - a blank canvas. The answers to the questions of how Kenneth ends up in jail, whose corpse is in the trunk and why it is there, ensure that the characters are always seen in a different light by the viewer, and that is what I want to achieve.

The collaboration with Jeroen Perceval as co-screenwriter gives unique impetus to the script. The stage play on which this script is based has already proven itself and enjoyed much success. But this screen adaptation, also by Jeroen, has been translated in every way possible into the medium of film. While my short films have always contained a certain element of chaos and frenetic camera work, I wanted to take more time in this film to allow the characters and images to breathe, so to speak, in order to strike relentlessly in the third act, where I close in on the protagonists. From the third act on wards, we are in very dense pinewoods, characterized by a certain isolation and obscurity. Just as the Coen brothers and Tarantino often strike a balance between black humor, suspense and character development, I wanted to convey just as effectively the bleakness that British filmmakers portray so strikingly - an excellent example being Shane Meadows.

Jeroen is not only also the author of the film, he also plays one of the main characters. The nervousness with which he plays is perfect for the character of Kenneth.

What is also very important is that my three characters all speak the Antwerp dialect, to enhance the naturalness and credibility of the story. It promises to be a dark journey.