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The Great War in Belgian Cinema
price 25 €

The "Great War" brought death and destruction to mankind on a worldwide scale. In all the countries involved in it, the new medium of film was used to bear witness to both. Even after 1918 filmmakers continued to return to the war, this time to tell stories of death and loss, but also, and mainly, of courage, patriotism and sacrifice. Film historians Leen Engelen and Bénédicte Rochet discuss the fascinating relationship between war and film, both in the fiction film La Belgique Martyre and in the documentary À la gloire du troupier belge.


La Belgique martyre
(Charles Tutelier, 1919, 69 min.)
La Belgique martyre (The Martyrdom of Belgium) is the first fiction film to be made in Belgium about this conflict after the war. Taking the Belgian war experience as its theme, the film is characterized by uncompromised patriotism and strong anti-German sentiments.
Cavell & Petit: filmed for the fatherland
(Compilation, 13 min.)
This short compilation is intended to show the life of these special women as depicted in Belgian fiction films.
Tableaux vivants 1914-1918
(1919, 8 min.)
Probably a foreign (in all likelihood British) film from 1914 which expresses international dismay at German perjury regarding Belgium's neutrality and clearly promotes the image of "poor little Belgium".


To the glory of  the Belgian private
(Fernand Poureau, 1922, SCAB, 64 min.)
Following the armistice in 1918, the SCAB is given the task of telling the country about the Belgian army's efforts during the war years. It is to highlight the soldiers' bravery and sacrifices and strengthen national cohesion around the King Chevalier.
Yser Journal n°7

(1919, SCAB, 7 min.)
The Yser journal is a series of newsreels produced by the SCAB from October 1918 onwards using negatives that had been accumulated by the service since 1916. It tells the story of the Yser trenches retrospectively.
Tragic and glorious anniversaries - Antwerp sorties

(1919, SCAB, 7 min.)
The Battle of Antwerp represented by animated drawings in which the troop movements of both the Belgian and German army are explained.
Panorama of the Yser
(1921, SCAB, 4 min.)
The Panorama of the battle of the Yser was made in 1920-21 by Belgian painter Alfred Bastien (1873-1955) and his team. With a circular, 360° view, the Panorama shows the entire Belgian front from La Panne to Ypres via Nieuport and Dixmude.
Rehabilitation of our great wounded
(ca. 1920, SCAB, 11 min.)
This report in two parts shows the Belgian military hospital 'Bon secours' set up in Rouen during the war and that at Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, after the war, where those disabled during the fighting are taken care of.
Memories of 22 November 1918
(1918, American Red Cross, 9 min.)
22 November 1918, King Albert receives a triumphant welcome in a liberated Brussels.
Homage to the Unknown Soldier
(1922, SCAB, 18 min.)
During the five years after armistice, patriotic fervour is expressed throughout the country with the erection of monuments to the dead. On 11 November 1922, an unknown soldier is honoured and buried beneath the Congress Column in Brussels.

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