Flemish Cinema and Film Culture through South African Eyes

  • Martin P. Botha


THE HERITAGE OF FILM: PERSPECTIVE ON FLEMISH CINEMA AND FILM CULTURE THROUGH SOUTH AFRICAN EYES I assisted the Locarno Film festival in 2005 with a retrospective of short films by young South African directors. There I met a very talented, young Flemish director, whose film was by far the best in the one section.(1) It moved me immensely with its honest portrait of alienation and racial discrimination. We had a long discussion on film history, aesthetics and film cultures. We also talked about the history of film in Belgium and it was noted that while the French speaking side of Belgian cinema had recently received international acclaim (for example, the work by the Dardenne Brothers), Flemish cinema was struggling. In fact, the young filmmaker made the statement that there was little to be excited about in the history of Flemish cinema. He felt especially that the films about...