// Presented as part of Filmatique's Teenage Wasteland Series //
Exclusive Interview with Bas Devos
Spotlight on Violet
Bas Devos / Belgium, 2014 / AFI, Berlin, Camerimage, CPH:PIX, Edinburgh, FEST New Directors/New Films, Ghent, Karlovy Vary, Milwaukee, Oostende, Sarajevo, Tallinn Black Nights, Torino / 100'
Jesse and his best friend Jonas are innocently hanging around an empty shopping mall when a stranger walks by, stabbing Jonas. Jesse remains powerless at the scene of the crime, unable to prevent Jonas from dying much less understand why he himself was spared. Powerlessness subsumes Jesse's parents who well aware of their son's grief but unable to do anything to assuage it. The adolescent boy drifts into the night, riding his bike among the half-lit suburban streets and into the topography of loneliness.
Bas Devos' feature film debut is a stylish, atmospheric portrait of a young man grappling with feelings his age has not endowed him with the experience to understand. Violet premiered at Cameraimage, CPH:PIX; Ghent, where it won Best Original Music and Sound Design FEST New Directors/New Films, where it won an Honorable Mention; AFI, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Cinematography; and Berlin, where it won the Grand Prix for Best Film in Generation 14plus.
"Devos depicts stages of grief not as a series of emotions but as an evolving alchemy of perception that surrounds the protagonist, distorting time, space, color and light in patterns of dislocation, muffling the synapses that connect sounds and images. Intensely stylized, highly original and utterly mesmerizing, Violet could stun arthouse audiences worldwide"
- Ronnie Scheib, London Review, Variety