The first titular character in Rosie & Moussa (Savannah Vandendriessche) and her mother (Ruth Beeckmans) move into a high rise building. When they reach the door of their ninth floor apartment, the superintendent warns them not to talk to the ‘lowlifes’. He forgets to consider something when he was giving this advice. You see, Rosie is a nine year old girl.
When adults tell children what to do, there is a tendency for them to follow orders at first. And then they might do the exact opposite. She ends up talking to one of the said lowlifes and the movie’s second lead, Moussa (Imad Borji). And he ends up taking her to his secrets hideouts while both talk about their dreams of getting out of the slums of Molenbeek, Brussels.
There was a racist implication to the superintendent’s advice that she might not have picked up. Instead, she internalizes the insult, thinking that it applied to rule breakers like her. Dorothea van der Berghe’s movie reveals why Rosie would be a more tolerant person. Rosie eventually discovers that she gets a rebellious streak from her dad (Titus de Voogt).
This is typical of van der Berghe’s films. Her previous works are semi-autobiographical, about how adults embroil their children into their drama. She shifts her focus here, making the most important relationship between the two kids. She also highlights what keeps them apart and together. He lives a floor above her, and they’ll connect despite of one meddling adult.
Rosie isn’t the only one making a connection within her new city. Her mother starts seeing Uncle Ibrahim (Mourad Zeguendi). For such a low stakes kids movie, plot twists like this keep people guessing. But the most important thing is that this movie looks forward, which is something we should do more.