Moscow, Belgium

Moscow, or ‘Moscou’ in Flemish, is a densely populated working class neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. MATTY (41), mother of three, bumps her car into a truck on the parking lot of a super- market. JOHNNY (29) climbs down from the cabin. He is infuriated by the dent in his front bumper and yells at Matty. Although impressed by the accident, Matty fights back with sharp words. Their discussion turns into a row, and the police have to intervene. Matty goes home, the trunk of her car dancing up and down. Back in her apartment, Matty takes a hot bath to recover from the afternoon’s emotions when the phone rings. Her oldest daughter VERA (17) passes the phone to Matty. It’s Johnny, apologizing for his behaviour on the parking lot. Matty tells him to stay out of her life. A few days later, Johnny rings the doorbell. He fixes the dent in the trunk of Matty’s car in no time. Matty’s children are stunned when witnessing the first sparkles between Matty and the so much younger Johnny. Matty’s almost ex-husband Werner is jealous. He left Matty and the family home more than 5 months ago, but keeps postponing the official divorce. Meanwhile, Matty agrees to meet Johnny for drinks, “just this once”. He is charming and very gallant. Before she knows it, they end up in bed together. Johnny calls her on the phone the next day. He is on his way to his regular destination in Italy. He wants to know Matty’s shoe-size, so that he can buy her a pair of elegant shoes. Matty tells him that their adventure was a one-off, and that she doesn’t want him to buy any shoes for her. Later that week, Werner tells Matty that Johnny has a criminal record; he beat up his former wife only 18 months ago. Matty is shaken by the news. Werner confides to Matty that he seriously thinks about coming back home. Matty wants to win her husband back and assures him that there is no “affair” between her and Johnny. Sometime later, the doorbell rings. It’s Johnny, with a pair of elegant red shoes from Italy … “Moscow, Belgium” is a dramatic comedy about a woman whose life soul is full of dents and bruises.


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