Synopsis by Michael Hastings
An unexpected tragedy drives a wedge between an idyllic young husband and wife in this impressionistic Belgian drama. Des Plumes Dans la Tete concerns the relationship between the amorous Jean-Pierre (Francis Renaud) and Blanche (Sophie Museur), leading a life of pastoral bliss in the small town of Genappe with their precocious son Arthur (Ulysse de Swaef). Mother and child spend their days interacting with the townspeople or going on nature walks; the latter endeavor proves tragic when Arthur wanders off on his own one afternoon, and is never seen from again. Both parents are devastated in different ways: Jean-Pierre grows cynical and reticent, while Blanche retreats into a naïve state, pretending that her son is still very much alive. As the couple grows further and further apart, Blanche devolves into madness, spending days on end exploring the fields and trails surrounding Genappe; it's there that she meets a reclusive, curious teenager (Alexis Den Doncker) who helps her escape her fantasy existence. Des Plumes Dans la Tete premiered in the Director's Fortnight section of the 2003 Cannes Film Festival before screenings at the Toronto and Tokyo festivals.