Bas Devos’ feature film debut contains sequences directed by Herman Asselberghs & Fairuz, bringing a feel of online media intimacy to this slow-burning account of a teen’s grieving process after the murder of his best friend.
When a group of young BMX riders are confronted with the senseless, violent death of Jonas, they all look for explanations at 15-year-old Jesse, the only witness to the incident. His inability to answer their questions gradually isolates Jesse. The grief for the loss of his peer and his growing feeling of loneliness stand in the way of Jesse’s search for solace. Aiming to convey the boy’s silent despair, director Devos and his cinematographer Nicolas Karaktsanis offer long shots at a mesmerizing slow pace, at times bordering on the verge of stillness. The exquisite photographic quietness, enhanced by a soundtrack chirurgically constructed out of concrete sounds, gets punctuated by brief spurts of sensorial on-line imagery. Ranging from boosted video-sharing visuals to tweaked computer game footage, these lo-fi low-res inserts by visual artists Asselberghs and Fairuz plunge the spectator deep into the liquid dreamscapes of Violet’s young protagonists, all of them avid screen users like us.
Violet had its world première at Berlinale 2014, where it won the Grand Prix at Generation 14plus for the best feature film “for its abstract exploration of emotions following a tragic death and because of its exquisite sculpture of cinematography, sound and story”. At Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montréal Violet won the AQCC Award (Association Québécoise des Critiques de Cinéma) and the Daniel Langlois Innovation Award “for its daring aesthetics, creative use of new technologies and/or groundbreaking treatment of a sensitive subject matter”. At Film Fest Gent the film received the Knack Focus Jo Röpcke Award and Boris Debackere won the Georges Delerue Award for Best Sounddesign..
Writer & director Bas Devos
User sequences directors Herman Asselberghs, Fairuz
Cast César De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer
Photography Nicolas Karakatsanis
Editing Dieter Diependaele
Sound design Boris Debackere
Art director Jeff Otte
Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Nederlands Film Fonds, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles et de VOO, Tax Shelter Incentive of the Federal Government of Belgium
Produced by Minds Meet, Artémis Productions, Phanta Vision