» » My Queen Karo (2009)

Short summary

Nine-year-old Karo grows up with her parents in an Amsterdam commune in the Seventies. She leads a carefree existence in this utopia-for-adults. Everything is shared in the squat, but not everyone is able to honor these ideals. Karo gets confused because of the internal conflicts that start to divide the group. Karo slowly realizes that nothing can stay the same forever.

The film is semi-autobiographical and inspired by director Dorothée Van Den Berghe's childhood. She was born in Ghent, but spent most of her childhood in Amsterdam. At the age of 18 she returned to Brussels to study sculpture and film at Sint-Lucas Academy.

Anna Franziska Jaeger's film debut.

This is the second collaboration between director Dorothée Van Den Berghe and actor Matthias Schoenaerts. The first was Meisje (2002), which was Berghe's directorial debut.

Déborah François was 21 years old when the film was shot and played the mother of a 10-years old girl.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Magis
    Shortly after Karo and her parents Raven and Dalia join a squatters community on the Amsterdam Wallen to live a life without boundaries nothing is certain. Raven shortly after picks up a relationship with a fellow activist while Dalia is trying to make a life for herself. The community itself has their own issues like trying to get by without getting evicted. Within this turmoil Karo has to find her own way. By getting her swimming diploma for one. She receives help from soft natured prostitute Jacky who is a oases of calmness to her.

    For many directors the theme of free love community is an excuse for softcore porn and luckily that didn't happen here. It's a realistic portrait, entertaining, nothing overly dramatic, the 70-ies atmosphere for once not overdone and a great cast. Thank god we're spared the same old soundtrack. But most mentionable : no stereotypes, no secret hidden judgements on morals & last but not least the marvellously played Karo and off course success ingredient Matthias Schoenaerts. If you enjoy this theme, try Tillsammans(Together) as well.
  • comment
    • Author: Lightbinder
    This is far most the best Flemish film in years! It is mature in every sense whereas other Flemish films tend to look for extremity or genre. This film flows like summer breeze and has the nostalgia of a loved memory. The script is somehow the weaker point sometimes, but its well compensated by a brilliant cast. Up front of course we have the adorable Anna Franciska, but the true star of the movie is again Schoenaerts who seemingly effortless shifts from character to character in every movie and he does with the ease which mark the truly great actors. Also Deborah François is a delight to watch although her part is a little underwritten. Anyway this is a must see for lovers of honest and poetic cinema.
  • comment
    • Author: Wat!?
    When I saw this movie on a Friday night in Brussels's largest cinema, the theatre was almost empty. We were there with about eight or ten other people. It's clear that My Queen Karo is not a crowd pleaser. That's a pity, because this film is well-written, poetic and beautifully filmed. The subject, the life of a young family in a squatter's community in Amsterdam in the seventies, is interesting enough. But the thing that makes this film something special is the point of view: the story is seen through the eyes of a young child, who doesn't really understand everything that is happening around her. The way this dreamy, naive child reacts to the conflicts around her (including those between her parents), is what makes this film stand out. Nevertheless, there were a few things I didn't like. The fact that the father is Dutch-speaking while the mother speaks French is a nice statement about bilingual Belgium (their home country, as well as director Van den Berghe's) but doesn't serve any purpose in the film. I suspect that the possibility to obtain financing from the French-speaking government played a part in the decision to make the film bilingual. In any case: Deborah François, who plays the mother, is a joy to watch. Matthias Schoenaerts on the other hand (the father) is sometimes over-acting.
  • comment
    • Author: Cordabor
    The movie was partially based on the director's own story. Which took place when she was a young girl in the early 70s who lived in Amsterdam hippie community with her parents and others under one roof. It tells about her experience she witnessed in her childhood where she was free to share everything and from everyone.

    As a child to a father whose life was dedicated to the hippie community and to a mother who was passionate about her career in fashion designing Karo was left alone which creates an arrogant behaviour within her. Karo's mother battles for saving her husband and marriage while her father's concern about another thing. The different field of interest in her parents, their relationship begins to tear apart which affect her the most.

    From the 10 years old Karo's perspective, she sees everything that every child is forbidden to see. Adults are making free love especially her father Raven with a fellow activist Alice in the presence of her and her mother. That confuses her in human relationship and behaviour so instantly Karo fall in love with her stepbrother and when he was taken away she feels the pain in her heart. That leads her to make aware of her parent's failure to take care her. The little girl who played Karo was very good in handling her role in those particular scenes.

    The nudism in the movie was quite strong but it won't feel like some porn movie, it all counts on the way you take it on. The movie's moral was on the environmental circumstances like this what could a child can become or made by seeing the adult's behaviour. This movie was not a bad at all, it was directed very well by the director Dorothee and told everything she saw in her child's eye.

  • comment
    • Author: Welen
    'My queen Karo' is good, in the first place by the convincing performance of its minor female star. To be more precise: given the role she has to play, loaded with lots of adult relationship-complications, her performance is stunning.

    This performance surely makes the backbone of 'My queen Karo'. Apart from that, well, its picturing of left-side Amsterdam in the year 1974 is fairly adequate. Being an Amsterdam-resident in 1974 myself, I think it all a little too beautiful & idealistic.

    Another prominent feature of 'My queen Karo': this film obviously is produced by a woman. Which shows in the heavy emphasizing on relationship-problems, in the non-erotic way nudity is shot, and, of course, in the strong focusing on the minor girl Karo.

    When you are ready for parameters like this, you surely will enjoy 'My queen Karo'.
  • comment
    • Author: Fordrekelv
    My French is limited and my Flemish non-existent, and I watched this without subtitles and loved it. I'm sure the dialogue was great, but you didn't need it to connect with the film. My Queen Karo is an excellent film that captures the chaotic emotions of a daughter as her parents struggle with their relationship. It relays her struggle to love and appreciate her parents, despite their flaws and despite their choices. It is perhaps more favourable toward the mother, as in the end, I still retained anger and struggled to find empathy for Raven, but that could also be due to my not understanding much of his dialogue, or to my own beliefs as a parent. I highly recommend this film.
  • comment
    • Author: Kahavor
    2nd part should be there with focus not only the child but also same parents. English subtitles added. best part dad watching iglo die by karo, still sitting idly. he is so lazy at home with iglo but active with all others. i'm trying 2 see a sense of humour. movie makers please don't get angry. dad is so jealous if mom flirts.they did the biggest mistake of leaving belgium. karo shouldn't b angry coz her parents really wanted to fee......l how does it feel to live in the squats. they just wanted an adventure. they were really bored with their lives.on the positive side karo is a swimming champion.keep it up. p.s- this is not a spoiler.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Anna Franziska Jaeger Anna Franziska Jaeger - Karo (as Anna Franziska Jäger)
    Déborah François Déborah François - Dalia
    Matthias Schoenaerts Matthias Schoenaerts - Raven
    Maria Kraakman Maria Kraakman - Alice
    Samuel du Chatinier Samuel du Chatinier - Daniel
    Cezanne Cuypers Cezanne Cuypers - Tara (as Cezanne Q. Cuypers)
    Ward Weemhoff Ward Weemhoff - Joop
    Nico Sturm Nico Sturm - Barré
    Dragan Bakema Dragan Bakema - Frans
    Rifka Lodeizen Rifka Lodeizen - Jacky
    Christelle Cornil Christelle Cornil - Anne Clare
    Hadewych Minis Hadewych Minis - Rosa
    Broske Broske - Iglo
    Martijn Fischer Martijn Fischer - Badmeester
    Bob Fosko Bob Fosko - Husbaas
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