A Young Doctor Turns Detective In ‘The Unknown Girl’

The acclaimed Belgian directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have twice won the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. They were most recently at the festival last year with The Unknown Girl, about a young doctor trying to solve a murder mystery that lands at her doorstep. Film critic Justin Chang says:

Even if you’ve never seen a film directed by the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, chances are you’ve seen one that bears their influence. Unflinchingly observed, shot with intimate handheld cameras and grounded in stark working-class environments, their exemplary social-realist dramas have left their stylistic imprint on pictures as different as Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Andrea Arnold’s American Honey.

But what sets the Dardennes’ movies apart is their consistent moral vision and piercing emotional honesty, their understanding that the most gripping stories are borne not of narrative contrivance but of human desperation. Every one of their films is a thriller of conscience and an action movie in the truest sense, not because the characters are armed and dangerous, but because even their smallest actions are shown to have unpredictable and often shattering consequences.

That simple truth is made startlingly clear right at the beginning of the directors’ absorbing new film, The Unknown Girl. The story follows a young doctor named Jenny Davin (played by Adèle Haenel), who works at a small clinic in Seraing, a Belgian factory town where most of the Dardennes’ films are set. When we first meet Jenny, she’s seeing a few patients along with her intern, Julien (played by Olivier Bonnaud). It’s after 8 o’clock at night and the two are exhausted, so when the door buzzes, Jenny orders Julien not to answer it.

We don’t think much of this brief, seemingly throwaway exchange. But the next morning, a police detective comes around with news that an unidentified young black woman has been found dead on a nearby riverbank, under circumstances that suggest foul play. Surveillance footage confirms that, shortly before her death, the girl approached the door of the clinic, frantically rang the buzzer and then ran off when no one answered.

“If I’d opened the door, she’d still be alive,” Jenny says, and while no one blames her for ignoring an after-hours visitor, the doctor feels a deep sense of personal guilt. While the police go about their investigation, Jenny begins playing detective, determined to find out the dead girl’s name so that her family will at least know what happened to her. She starts showing the girl’s photo to each of her patients and asking if they recognize her. None of them does, though she soon realizes that at least one of them is lying, in a clever twist that makes ingenious use of her medical expertise.

“No matter what happens in the ring; always thank your partner”

Photo credits to Herve Bonnaud (1clicphoto) 

MET Oliva Autumn tour 2016

Chiara Amor and Devonport 2

Corset versus Jumps

-  a concise guide to what went on under your Eighteenth Century bodice!

Looking at 18th century ladies clothing and you can’t help but think of the corset or stays as they were commonly known.

That item of clothing that women wore underneath their tightly laced bodices, and over their chemises, to support their breasts, before the brassiere was invented. 

Corsets were often made of cotton or linen, sometimes even silk, and were stiffened to ensure correct shaping by either buckram (hardened cotton) or more often by whalebone.

They weren’t necessarily uncomfortable, but neither were they particularly designed for comfort.

And from all that Caitriona has said, it appears this is still true when wearing authentic period clothing for Outlander.

However there was an alternative to the corset in the 18th century, and this alternative was known as ‘jumps’

Often worn by pregnant women and nursing mothers, jumps were very similar to a corset, again they were an under-bodice made of cotton, silk or linen, but entirely WITHOUT THE STIFFENING.

Generally slightly looser than traditional stays, and padded with cotton, jumps still supported the breasts but without being overly restrictive. They could also be fastened both at the front or at the sides.

Increasingly popular as the century wore on, and encouraged by a treatise declaring the corset to be an instrument of torture by Jacques Bonnaud, jumps finally came into their own in the 1770s as the fashionable style was for simpler, and simpler clothing, and the need for stiffened corsets became less and less.


8.Two Door Cinema Club by FredB Art 05.08.2017 by Frederic Bonnaud

Belgium won the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona.

© Herve Bonnaud.

Photo of the Week: Emergency-care doctor Jacques Kotchoffa is about to check in on patients with Lassa Fever at Papané Hospital in the West African country of Benin, where there’s currently an outbreak of the disease. “I cannot abandon my patients, my colleagues, my friends, he says. “I’m not afraid to come in contact with patients because we’ve been given protective gear and decontamination equipment…Life will resume, as it has in places that fire has turned into desert but are now flourishing with life again. I’m very hopeful.” © UNICEF/UN014694/Bonnaud