A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Immigrants deserve fair and equal treatment as humans. Kids thrive when given the space to explore different behaviors, hobbies, emotions, and passions. When loved, kids can withstand hardships.
Positive Role Models
Jovial does his best to provide for his daughter in difficult circumstances. Christine welcomes strangers into her home when they need help, demonstrating compassion. They're both warm and loving parents. Elias is dedicated to helping an endangered species. Binti is a happy, talented, and caring child despite a tough upbringing. A man makes a selfish decision that negatively impacts others.
Binti and Jovial are undocumented immigrants from Congo. Their friend group is very diverse, and some of them participate in an event that involves African music and dance. They and some of their friends are also constantly under threat of being caught and deported. White Belgians Christine and Elias take the father and daughter into their home and care for them. Christine's policeman son-in-law, Farid, is of Arab descent. The film is shot in Belgium in Dutch and French.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
With more peril and fear than violence, the film shows immigrants being chased and detained by police. Binti's mom is dead. Elias fights with his mom and misses his divorced and remarried dad. Elias takes some silly hits and falls while making a video. His mom injures her eye in one of his forest traps, resulting in a bloody wound.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Adults kiss. A man and a woman rehearse a sensual dance.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Damn," "wanker," "snot," "stupid," and "Oh my God" appear in the English subtitles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink wine with meals.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Belgian film Binti portrays two different but tender parent-child relationships in a story about a pair of undocumented African immigrants who befriend a Belgian mother and son. The father-daughter immigrants from Congo, like others among their friends and housemates, are chased and even detained by police. They live under the constant threat of being caught and sent back to Congo. A local mom and her son take them in, and a meaningful friendship sprouts among the four of them. The two kids miss their absent parents (Binti's mom is dead and Elias's dad lives in Brazil with a new family). Both parents are loving and devoted to their kids, allowing them to explore their own hobbies and passions. Adults drink wine with meals, there's some kissing between couples, and adults rehearse sensual dances. Language in the English subtitles includes "damn," "wanker," "snot," "stupid," "Oh my God." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Real-life father-daughter pair Baloji and Bebel Tshiani Baloji are the pulse of this heartwarming and entertaining Belgian film. As the titular character Binti, the tween star is especially buoyant and brings a joyful presence to her character, an aspiring vlogger. Her videos are filmed as if from her handheld phone camera, but then cleverly shown as if already edited together with effects. She's matched by up-and-coming Belgian actor Bakker as Elias, the well-meaning and tender-hearted misfit. There's symbolism in his obsession with a rare species taken from its African homeland by European captors as well as in his own repeated retreat into the forest. The magic of childhood seen in their exuberant playfulness is contrasted with the dire reality of an immigrant child who feels "nowhere is home."
The film constructs a gentle and earnest tale that aims to show the human side to immigration. The physical tenderness between father and daughter is captured with great visual detail. At risk of being sent "back" to Congo, a country she doesn't know, Binti is portrayed as thoroughly Belgian and insistent that she does indeed "exist" even if she has no papers. Elias's innocent question of why she can't stay in Belgium when there's clearly "plenty of room" is poignant. It's heartbreaking to see Binti and her dad chased or arrested, and it's also heartbreaking to see the pained look of one of the policemen involved. The film could be considered overly simplistic in some aspects, but it makes a convincing case that these characters deserve humane treatment and a happy ending.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.