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Review: Rosie & Moussa (2018)

Directed by: | 92 minutes | | Actors: Savannah Vandendriessche, , , , , Mourade Zeguendi, Katelijne Hemelrijk, , , El Akel, , , , , , Michael De Cock, ,

The Flemish children’s “Rosie & Moussa” by Dorothée Van Den Berghe is based on the children’s book series by Michael De Cock and Judith Vanistendael. The film begins when Rosie moves into a new apartment with her mother. Rosie worries whether “he” can find them and it soon becomes apparent that Rosie’s father has not moved with him. The exact reason for this – have the parents split up or is something else going on – is not immediately disclosed.

Rosie is soon introduced to Moussa, a boy who lives in the apartment above her. Initially, the introverted girl holds back a bit, but it doesn’t take long before she – just like the viewer – can no longer resist the charms of the spontaneous Moussa, just like the viewer. Moussa is a welcome sounding board for Rosie, although the two do not always have profound conversations, it is clear how important Moussa is to Rosie and vice versa.

The fact that “Rosie & Moussa” is based on a series of children’s books is reflected in the somewhat fragmentary scenario. However, that is not disturbing. The supporting roles are so well written that it is not a bad thing that every now and then a dodge is made in the main story. The tap-dancing concierge, for example, who, through his narrow worldview, makes the viewer just a little more aware of the fact that the cultural background of Rosie and Moussa is different. Or the eccentric Mrs. Hemelrijk, who is a lifesaver when the two friends are in danger of getting into trouble. The blossoming between Rosie’s mother and “Uncle Ibrahim” is less successful, but

The relationship between Rosie and her parents on the one hand and Rosie and Moussa on the other is well balanced in the film. The emotions that play in the young children are nowhere downplayed, but the film does not get melancholy anywhere. Through the playful visuals – such as a snow globe coming to life – Dorothée Van Den Berghe gives the film the necessary air. Nice, warm, but sometimes a bit slow family film, which in terms of theme and atmosphere is reminiscent of Guus Kuijer’s “Polleke”.

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