My Queen Karo: the birth of the post-hippie generation
Belgian director Dorothée van den Berghe’s ode to coming of age in the mid-seventies, My Queen Karo [+see also:
film profile], is one of the twelve titles vying for the Crystal Arrow at the Les Arcs European Film Festival.
Growing pains and looming responsibilities are a recurring theme in the films in competition at the festival in the French Alps, whose first edition will come to a close tomorrow.
As in her lauded 2002 film, Girl, the semi-autobiographical My Queen Karo has a female protagonist at its centre. Karo (Anna Franziska Jager) is a 10-year-old girl lives in an Amsterdam squat in 1974 with her Flemish father ( Matthias Schoenaerts) and Walloon mother (Deborah François, also seen squatting in London in Les Arcs Competition title Unmade Beds [+see also:
Growing up in such a liberal environment, she quickly learns that the ways of her hippie parents aren’t a direct route to happiness. Her parents -- and her father especially -- may have ideals, but they are not always compatible with their emotions.
Young Karo thus represents the birth of the post-hippy generation at its earliest, and the trajectory of Karo’s coming of age parallels the hippy generation’s realisation that peace and love are not enough to keep the world going.
Using an impressionistic, agile camera, cinematographer Jan Vancaillie places the viewers inside the closed world of the commune that production designer Gert Stas has turned into a squalid place that already suggests things will not last.
The Caviar Films, IdtV Film, and Tarantula production was released in Flanders by KFD on October 28 and is currently still on seven screens. The Belgian-Dutch co-production will be released on February 11 in the Netherlands by Filmmuseum.
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