Where Many Lives Are Like Sad Movie Lines

Rosetta, 17, who lives in a trailer park, has just been fired from her factory job. Her mother is an alcoholic who prostitutes herself to pay the bills. In a dreary Belgian landscape of smoky steel mills, shuttered coal mines, and grimy red brick houses, Rosetta sets out to find a job. Her heart-rending quest is the subject of Rosetta, the winner of the 1999 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or, which is drawing big audiences in France and Belgium and opened in November in the U.S. to mixed reviews.

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