Not a lot to smile about
By Peter Robinson
ROSETTA, A powerful and upsetting film, follows Rosetta, a young Belgian woman, over a few days in her brutish life. She lives in a caravan park with her alcoholic mother. It's a hard life with little human warmth. The film starts with Rosetta being sacked. She is refused unemployment benefit and desperately tries to find work. She begins a faltering relationship with Riquet, who helps get her a job. We see her beginning to feel she has the "normal life" she so desperately wants. But again she is sacked, and turns on her friend Riquet. She conspires to get him sacked too, and then takes his job. But guilt makes her quit after just a day. The film made me think of Tony Blair's Social Exclusion Unit which is supposed to tackle the sort of problems people like Rosetta face. But they have been swept aside by a society which says we can all be "winners". Of course, we are then told it is our fault for being poor and unemployed. This is not a film anyone will really enjoy, but it is thought provoking.