Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium, 1999


Film-makers impose a true power struggle to their woman comedian. She has to wear, over a fairly long distance, a gas bottle clearly way too heavy for her. The hand camera, precedes the comedian from a very little distance, trapping her in the frame, and exposing her to the closest to our eye: we don’t miss a thing, neither the exhaustion signs winning her (out of breath, rosy cheeks, face distorted by effort); nor her emotions: anger against Ricquet, the colleague she betrayed and who harass her on his moped, closing her in more and more, the despair, when she bursts into tears. Neither the threat he represents, nor the excessive weight of the object, seem to move Rosetta away from her only target: bringing this gas bottle back; she trips over and stands back up, living her way of the cross to the end. This bottle could have been empty, or replaced by a fake less heavy object. The scene could have easily been cut out or shortened, But it is important indeed that it wasn’t, and that through this scene filmed as a sequence shot, the comedian, like the spectators live an experience: The common crossing, across which we take a bit of her emotion, of her suffering (she wants to use the gas to commit suicide); which ends the film and finishes on this liberating move: the stalker’s hand held out to her.