“It is the very fact that these characters have neither the luxury of time or lifestyle to really stop and reflect that that only adds a further sense of gravitas to Sermon-Daï’s exquisite coming-of-age portrait of poverty and connection.” - Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ.org

“Combining a familiar ‘last summer’ coming-of-age story with a non-fiction sensibility to arresting effect, the filmmaker’s intimate visual style effectively draws the viewer in.” - Nikki Baughan, Screen International

Friday, March 8, 6:00 p.m. | In Paloma Sermon-Daï’s narrative feature debut, which premiered at Critics Week at the Cannes Film Festival, 17-year-old Purdey and her brother Makenzy live in Belgium’s Wallonia region, where wealthy tourists flock for summer holiday, but where the siblings live in a ramshackle house with few resources and their distracted single mother. When their mother takes off, they have to fend for themselves, with Purdey getting a low-paying cleaning job and Mak turning to petty crime. Starring her real-life half siblings, Sermon-Daï’s film—stylistically evocative of the work of Belgium's Dardenne brothers—is a matter-of-fact portrayal of poverty, and a compassionate but unsentimental portrait of coming-of-age and the bonds of family. 

Awards & Nominations

Winner - French Touch Prize of the Critics' Week Jury, Cannes Film Festival
Nominee - Critics' Week Grand Prize, Cannes Film Festival

Nominee - Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival Nominee - New Directors Competition, São Paulo International Film Festival

Chicago European Union Film Festival - Spotlight on BelgiumJoin us this year as we dive into the best of Belgian cinema new and old. Presenting Chicago audiences with a potent cultural immersion and showcasing bright new native talents alongside a slice of repertory favorites. View full festival.

The Film Center thanks the consulates, consuls general, and cultural institutes of the European Union in Chicago and their embassies in Washington, D.C., for their support, partnership, and collaboration. Special thanks to Paul M. Van Halteren, president of EuroChicago and Honorary Consul of Belgium in Illinois, and our 2024 Belgium Spotlight partners:

Belgian Presidency of the EU CouncilBe BrusselsFlandersWallonia ExportWallonie BruxellesFederation WalloniaEuro CircleEUC

European Union Center w/European Union Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign through support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu