Melody questions the idea of maternity
by Aurore Engelen
- With his second feature, Bernard Bellefroid offers audiences a reserved and thought-provoking portrait of women that calls into question the idea of maternity and family
Today sees the theatrical release of Melody [+see also:
interview: Bernard Bellefroid
film profile], the second feature by Bernard Bellefroid. In the wake of The Boat Race [+see also:
interview: Bernard Bellefroid, directo…
film profile], which came out in 2010, and his documentaries, including Rwanda, les collines parlent, Bellefroid continues to call into question family ties: what does it mean to be a mother? Or to be a daughter? Is family what nature itself gives us, or is it what we choose for ourselves? Melody is a fighter and a hard worker, yet she cannot manage to find a way to make her dream of opening her own hairdressing salon come true. So when she stumbles across a webpage that hosts profiles of surrogate mothers, she signs herself up and soon meets Emily, a rich, single English woman who can no longer have any children. With each attempting to get the better of the other, their relationship swings back and forth between duo and duel, the balance beginning to get increasingly shaky over the months, as the impending due date edges ever nearer. Between hope and fear of the future, between joy and concerns about betrayal, the two women gradually forge links beyond the blood ties that unite them.
The topliners of the title are the excellent Rachael Blake, who appeared in Sleeping Beauty, and for the first time in a lead role, the radiant Lucie Debay. As he did with Joffrey Verbruggen (and David Murgia) in The Boat Race, Bernard Bellefroid uncovers the talent of an actress who is still under construction, relying on her energy, and that surprising blend of levity and determination.
The film is produced by Artemis Production, which has been supporting the director since The Boat Race. Artemis, a partner on many prestigious co-productions (recent titles include The Clearstream Affair [+see also:
film profile] by Vincent Garenq, Möbius [+see also:
film profile] by Eric Rochant and Superchondriac [+see also:
film profile] by Dany Boon), is thus accompanying several Belgian directors, like Bernard Bellefroid, Frédéric Fonteyne and Lucas Belvaux. The production outfit is currently developing Make it Better, the feature debut by young director Sarah Hirtt, whose short film Waiting for the Thaw was selected at Cannes in 2013.
Melody is being distributed by Cinéart in around ten cinemas in French-speaking Belgium.
(Translated from French)