Virtual Screening Room: Ghost Tropic



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2019 • dir Bas Devos w/Saadia Bentaïeb • 84 min

After work one night, Khadija (Bentaïeb), a fifty-eight-year-old Maghrebi cleaning woman living in Brussels, falls asleep on the last subway train, wakes up at the end of the line, and has no choice but to make her way home—all the way across the city—on foot. Along the way, she has a series of encounters: with a security guard, a convenience store clerk, a group of teenagers. She asks for help and she gives it and slowly, steadily makes her way.

Director Bas Devos’ lightness of touch combines with the richness of Grimm Vanderkerckhove’s 16mm images and the depth of Saadia Bentaïeb’s lead performance to create a small wonder of humanistic storytelling. GHOST TROPIC is a testament to the everyday drama of immigrant life and insists on the possibility of goodness and beauty, even in the dark of night.

“Hypnotic and haunting, one of the great visual achievements of the year.”
– Hannah Faris, Chicago Monitor

“A film as gentle, sad and empathetic as an Edward Hopper painting.”
– David Perrin, MUBI Notebook