Expat Cinema: Dalva (English subtitles)

Wednesday 17th of May 2023 (one-off screening)

Movie lover but trouble understanding Dutch subtitles? Join Lumen’s EXPAT CINEMA screenings. Every Wednesday we screen the best foreign language movies with English subtitles. Our café is the perfect place to hook up for a good coffee or special beer before and after the film.

This poignant yet remarkably vindicating feature debut by Belgian writer and filmmaker Emmanuelle Nicot portrays the journey of a girl at the cusp of teenager-hood, Dalva, who must learn how to be a child again, after she’s been taken away from her abusive father Jacques.

Mogelijk schadelijk tot 12 jaar Angst Grof taalgebruik

Koop nu een kaartje

Eschewing the sensationalism typical of child captive cases and drawing on her research in an emergency shelter for young victims of abuse, Nicot focuses on Dalva’s confusion as she is abruptly severed from Jacques and lodged in a youth shelter. She enters this new world with outrage and resistance, struggling to come to terms with learning that the love she shared with her father was not what she thought it was.

Through Dalva, Nicot unveils a past of trauma, control and deceit inflicted by the young girl’s father, who substituted his daughter for his estranged wife – the similarity in clothing becomes evident in a mother-daughter reunion.

Dalva’s shift to life in a shelter is initially jarring and adding to her alienation is the arrival of puberty, leaving her torn between clinging to her conditioning as an adult woman and the yearning to salvage the remnants of her childhood. Gradually, the support of her roommate, Samia, and a social worker, Jayden, undermines the illusions created by her father’s manipulations, challenging Dalva’s very idea of self and swaying her to reframe her life as she discovers her youth and the camaraderie of adolescence.