Opening 24 Nov 2011
At the first sight of the large and intimating Jacky Vamarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts), one automatically thinks he must definitely be guilty of some crime. But as the story unravels, we find that the young Limburg cattle farmer is fighting to keep his nose just above water. He is approached by a West-Flemish beef trader who is notorious for his involvement in the illegal hormone mafia and is pushing him to play along. Among the group of men who are confronting him is an old childhood friend who in actuality is a snitch for the police. Before long Jacky have both the police and the mafia plotting against him. At the same time Jacky’s childhood shows that he is haunted by a brutal lost of innocence. What remains of Jacky’s spirit is he feels just like those cows stuffed with hormones, watching and waiting with no real sense of a destiny.
This is a first time that a crime thriller takes us multiple-paths simultaneously. There is also a layer underneath the story where we are confronted with our own relations to food, and it begins with the meat that we eat. We see the beginning of this hormone trade early in the 1980s and how the ideas are coming from the good old USA and how in the end the cows can’t even give birth in a natural way. Not only are the animals treated with hormones but the men have dumped chemicals into their own well. After seeing this film I couldn’t eat meat for two days. I kept asking myself where did this meat come from and what were the conditions that the animal lived in before it landed on my plate? This movie definitely provides us with food for thought. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)