Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

Don't Leave Me
(Ne Me Quitte Pas)

Year: 2013
Run Time: 107 minutes

Don't Leave Me
Don't Leave Me
Don't Leave Me
Don't Leave Me

The world of the superb Belgian documentary DON’T LEAVE ME is a combination of existential surrealism, where everything and nothing happens, and slapstick comedy, where everyone is the straight man. Bob and Marcel are two old friends – men without women – who bond over wine, rum, and beer while discussing loneliness and their plans to execute their own demise under a secluded tree Bob remembers from his youth. While the subject matter is solemn, the circumstances and tone are natural deadpan – like when Bob can’t remember where his sacred tree is. From the very beginning, you can’t help but feel like you’ve been invited to watch two characters created by Samuel Beckett search for meaning in their lives. Sure, there are heartbreaking moments – watching both men struggle to balance their alcoholism with fatherhood, for example – but DON’T LEAVE ME is a phenomenal study in contradicting images: two depressed farmers who can only seem to grow comic situations. When Marcel goes to rehab, we get a deeper meaning of where these two are coming from, but without ever feeling hopelessness. Directors Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden have done a masterful job documenting two years in the lives of these endearing men as they continue waiting for their Godot at the bottom of a bottle. (In French and Dutch with subtitles) – T.W.

CIFF39 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Friday, March 27, 2015 at 9:15 AM -
Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 8:55 PM -
Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 10:40 PM

Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 3:35 PM -
Sunday, March 29, 2015 at 5:20 PM

Nesnadny + Schwartz Portrait Documentary Competition
ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman

Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden

Sabine Lubbe Bakker was born and raised in Belgium and studied in the Netherlands and Brazil. She has won numerous awards for her short documentaries, including work done in Damascus. Niels van Koevorden is a farmer's son born in the Netherlands and raised in Belgium. He graduated from the Dutch Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam with a degree in Directing.


Pieter van Huystee

Niels van Koevorden

Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden

Film Contact
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