The Belgians in Cannes, a love story that lasts…

For decades, Belgian cinema has been part of the richness of the Festival’s prize lists.

If we “forget” the van Groeningen, Dardenne and other Dhont, already named this year, Cannes à la sauce belge, it is also:

1988: “The Black Work” by André Delvaux

In 1988, one of the most anticipated films of the year was indeed Belgian. Based on the essential novel by the brilliant (Franco-Belgian) academician Marguerite Yourcenar, directed by the no less brilliant André Delvaux (“Un soir un train”, “Benvenutta”…), shot largely in Belgium, with several actors from home: Jacques Lippe, Pierre Dherte, Johan Leysen…

1991: “Toto the hero” by Jaco Van Dormael

Camera d’or… and later César Award for Best Foreign Film… A pitiless fable (under the guise of a film for young audiences), shot in the Floreal city of Boistfort with the recently deceased Michel Bouquet, imperial. In 1996, Van Dormael did it again with “Le Huitième Jour”, which earned Daniel Auteuil and actor with Down’s syndrome Pascal Duquenne the Best Actor Award.

1992: “It Happened Near You”

Attention, the Croisette, you have found stronger than you! You thought to impress us with your sequins, your Rolls and your starlets? Here is a small black and white Belgian film that came out of nowhere, and which above all sets no limits. Benoît Poelvoorde hits the headlines by responding tit for tat to the interviews of dumbfounded international journalists. A star is born. Belgium shines.

1997: “My life in pink” by Alain Berliner

Many years before it became a question of society, an almost unknown Belgian director brings together all the questions (and answers) in the air of the times in terms of the right to (sexual) difference, to (aesthetic) preference, and childhood (not flouted by snap judgments).

1999: “The conveyors are waiting” by Benoît Mariage

7 years later, Benoît P. returns to Cannes, with another black and white film, that of his friend Benoît Mariage. Slag heaps, Jacquard sweaters, poetic and offbeat situations: would you take a slice of Belgium again? France says “yes”, and the whole world to follow suit.

2004: “Calvary” by Fabrice du Welz

A new Belgium is bursting into the open: that of fir trees moving in the night, blind headlights, perverts at the “Délivrance” who are waiting for you on their farm to serve you a little homemade coffee, poison sauce. Below the genre, and the well-felt aesthetic, a new way of looking at reality that does not leave festival-goers indifferent…

2010: “Illegal” by Olivier Masset-Depasse

Not only an essential film on migrants, and the obscene way in which they are treated by “authorities”, “Illegal” is also an opportunity for the general public and the profession to (re) discover the actress Anne Coesens.

2012: “To lose your mind” by Joachim Lafosse

It is the confirmation of the monstrous talent of a certain Émilie Dequenne, crowned very young by the Interpretation Prize, 13 years earlier. Double talent, since the name of Joachim Lafosse is on everyone’s lips, he who had already attracted attention in Venice with “Naked property”, 6 years earlier…

Belgians in Cannes this year

Official selection for the Palme d’Or

The Dardenne Brothers: “Tori and Lokita”

Today in Belgium, a young boy and a teenager who came alone from Africa oppose their invincible friendship to the difficult conditions of their exile…

Lukas Dhont: “Close” with Emilie Dequenne, Kevin Janssens…

Léo and Rémi, 13 years old, have always been friends. Until an unthinkable event separates them. Léo then approaches Sophie, Rémi’s mother, to try to understand…

Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch: “The mountain otto”

Felix van Groeningen shares with his companion Charlotte Vandermeersch the realization of “The otto mountain” (based on the magnificent novel “The eight mountains” by Paolo Cognetti, Medici Prize abroad 2017). Shot in Italian, the film recounts the bond of friendship between Pietro and Bruno, a boy from the city and another from the mountains.

Many other Belgian films (sometimes in co-production) are present in the other sections, among which…

Dalva by Emmanuelle Nicot, the first Belgian film by a former member of the IAD (at Critics’ Week): Dalva, 13, is suddenly removed from her father’s home. Placed in a home and back to school, she will gradually understand that behind what she has always called “love”, hides something else…

“Rebel” by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah (Midnight session): after the death of his father, Nassim, a 13-year-old boy from Molenbeek, is in search of his identity…

“Dodo” by Panos Koutras (Cannes Première): near Athens, a couple on the verge of ruin are preparing to marry their daughter Sofia to a wealthy heir…

Note also the presence of Belgian actors (in all sections), including:

Virginie Efira (also mistress of ceremonies for the opening), who plays opposite Tahar Rahim in “Don Juan” by Serge Bozon (Cannes Premiere).

Lubna Azabalpresent in “The blue of the caftan” by Maryam Touzani (Un certain regard): Mina runs a sewing shop in the medina. The arrival of a young apprentice will bring to the surface a truth that has always been buried…

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The Belgians in Cannes, a love story that lasts…