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Blind Spot: A fatal chain of events

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- With his third film, Nabil Ben Yadir brings us a by-the-book detective story, a film of cops and yobs set against the backdrop of the rise of populism

Blind Spot: A fatal chain of events
Ruth Becquart and Peter Van Den Begin in Blind Spot

Nabil Ben Yadir shot out of nowhere like a comet into the film industry in 2008 with Les Barons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Interview with director and actress of…
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile
]
, a social comedy which threw the limelight onto the Maghreb community in Brussels, blowing away clichés and portraying Brussels in a way that we’d just about never seen in film before. A huge success with audiences, the film pulled in over 170,000 viewers. In 2013, he returned with La Marche [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile
]
, an ambitious project inspired by a little-known episode in the history of France, the march for equality and against racism of 1983. With Blind Spot [+see also:
trailer
film focus
interview: Nabil Ben Yadir
film profile
]
(Dode Hoek), he’s back on Belgian soil getting to the heart of its political problems.

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Jan Verbeeck is the main commissioner of the police force of Antwerp. Just as he’s getting ready to bow out to throw himself into a scandalous political career with a populist party, he indulges in one last raid in a bid to put away Ozgür, a drug dealer he’s been after for years. But things don’t exactly go to plan. The information provided by his go-to informant is of questionable reliability, and Verbeeck and his team end up walking straight into an explosive ambush that casts a shadow over the final hours of his career. Moreover, during the operation, Verbeeck discovers something that seems to deeply worry him, to the point that he is willing to slip away from his leaving party to take foolhardy risks.

With Blind Spot, Nabil Ben Yadir brings us a blaring film, a by-the-book film of cops and yobs in which you don’t really know who’s who. Blinded by his populist and paternalistic convictions and driven by disproportionate ambition, his crooked commissioner doesn’t see the end coming, the end of an era and the end of a supremacy. To some extent, the fate of Verbeeck is somewhat reminiscent of that of classic heroes in the throes of a crisis of hubris, torn apart by so many conflicting loyalties that all they are left with is betrayal. All set against a backdrop of shootouts and drug trafficking. And this is indeed where the strength of Blind Spot lies, in its ability to use the codes of the action genre perfectly – with a special mention to the especially effective soundtrack –, and to dare to portray bigger than life characters, through a political and social filter that is scorchingly topical. Nabil Ben Yadir wanted to make a great mainstream film, and importantly, he made a point of giving Belgian audiences two versions. The film, most of which is in Flemish, has also been dubbed in French. 

The cast features the by now hard-to-avoid Peter van den Begin (Everybody Happy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, King of the Belgians [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jessica Woodworth, Peter Br…
film profile
]
), Soufiane Chilah, who rose to prominence in Black [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fal…
interview: Martha Canga Antonio
film profile
]
), Jan Decleir (Les Barons, Loft [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, The Alzheimer Case
 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and David Murgia (The First, The Last [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bouli Lanners
film profile
]
, The Brand New Testament [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jaco van Dormael
film profile
]
).

Blind Spot is produced by Benoît Roland for Wrong Men (Prejudice [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antoine Cuypers
film profile
]
, Parasol [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Nabil Ben Yadir for Antilope Joyeuse and Peter Bouckaert for Eyeworks Film & TV Drama, which is notably responsible for successes of the likes of The Verdict [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Marina [+see also:
trailer
interview: Cristiano Bortone
film profile
]
. The film is being supported by the Federation Wallonia-Brussels, Screen Flanders and the VAF.

(Translated from French)

See also

Sarajevo Report
Locarno Report
Midpoint Feature
 

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