Produced by Thierry De Coster, Michel Houdmont, Dominique Standaert
With actors Jan Declein, Antjie de Boeck, Alexandra Vandernot, Kalomba Mbuyi, Ansou Diedhiou, Emile M’Penza
available on DVD in the US and Germany
A boy gets an early lesson in issues of politics, race, and violent activism in this drama from Belgium. Justin (Kalomba Mbuy) is a boy living in Brussels with his father, Dieudonne (Ansou Diedhiou), who, like Justin, is an illegal alien from Burundi. While an attentive student, Justin also has a mischievous streak, and after tapping into a neighbor’s cable-television line in order to watch a football match, an angry neighbor threatens to report him to the police. Dieudonne takes the threat seriously enough to clear out of their apartment and go underground, with Justin in tow; Dieudonne is soon captured by the authorities, but Justin finds refuge with Frans (Jan Decleir) and Gerda (Antje De Boeck), a pair of radical leftists sympathetic to the plight of the illegal immigrants. When they learn that Dieudonne has been deported to the Congo (where he’s never lived), Frans and Gerda hire a lawyer to fight the matter in court, but Justin considers more direct action when he finds a cache of explosives hidden at Frans’ place. Hop was shown as part of the young person’s film series at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival.