Rosetta (dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, France/Belgium, 1999) teases the viewer into a spiritual mind game. At first viewing, the film appears to be about a young woman’s quest for a job. On very close analysis, though, Rosetta turns out to be encrypted with the holy spirit, creeping underneath the window of the trailer in which Rosetta lives with her alcoholic mother. The question is how much the critical posthumanist viewer feels at ease with that evangelical subtext. This essay argues that however self-reflexive Rosetta may show itself in its flirtation with Christian tropes, the film ultimately affirms the patriarchal binaries its secular Passion story otherwise challenges.
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Niels Niessen; Hunting for Easter Eggs in the Dardennes’ Rosetta. Camera Obscura 1 May 2018; 33 (1 (97)): 83–111. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/02705346-4336850
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