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LAist Movie Review: Moscow, Belgium

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It always comes as a breath of fresh air when a film and it’s filmmakers don’t just give us what they think we want to see, or what they think we deserve; instead, they give us the truth. There are many different genres, styles, techniques and schools of thought that surround the entertainment industry as a whole, and more than a few of those will push for beauty and strength and morality above honesty. Sometimes the story doesn’t have to be about animated drug dealing robots from the Civil War who fall in love. Maybe, sometimes, it can just be about what’s real.

Often times, this is cringingly apparent in romantic comedies, where the subject matter (by necessity) is often rooted in reality, but the paths taken and the subsequent outcome veer so sharply from this base point that it’s very foundation become unrecognizable lampoons of truth. How many guys do you know that have stood in the rain outside their lover’s house with a boombox over their heads, only to have it ‘all work out’? How many people are in your contacts list that have taken a weekend fling to Tuscany and never come back, leaving unknown debts and unanswered voicemails to the wind, with nary a care on their face?

Where films and stories like these take their turn, Moscow, Belgium stays the course, and asks the questions that are ultimately much tougher to answer. What if? What if the man who might be from your dreams wasn’t just poor, he had a criminal record and a history of violence against women? What if the man you loved kept trying to hedge his bets with a younger woman in one ear and you in the other? What if you didn’t want a Tuscan cottage or a life of melodrama, you just wanted a home and a family and a simplicity the world has heretofore been unable to supply? Acclaimed Belgian director Christophe Van Rompaey certainly tries to find out.