review

‘Oleg’: modern slavery in Europe’s capital

Oleg
Onze score

Slavery, here in our capital, is the challenging subject of Oleg, an anxious and oppressive social-realist tragedy that was very successful on the festival circuit.

The Latvian director Juris Kursietis combines his background in journalism with a vision of cinema in which visual language is not a negligible detail and the director of photography plays a pivotal role. The young Latvian Oleg hoped to build a better future for himself by migrating to Belgium. But his situation is much lonelier and more precarious than he realizes. After losing his job in an industrial meat-processing plant, he is first helped but then mercilessly exploited by Andrzej, a charismatic but psychopathic Polish hustler and criminal. Oleg's downfall, which is depicted in agonizing detail, is the consequence of a succession of well-intentioned but bad decisions and deep debts, but it is also brought about by a predator with free rein to abuse Eastern-European migrants in the capital of Europe. In short, the extremely discomforting film Oleg leaves you with pressing political questions.

Trailer Oleg

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