Cine Europa: An ironic view on Belgian nostalgia and intergenerational conflicts

A nostalgic, yet ironic glimpse of the disappearing past will be the highlight of the Belgian entries in this year’s featured films in Cine Europa.

European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen said that this is the 7th time that Cine Europa travels to Iloilo City.

Cine Europa runs from 9 to 14 October 2018 in SM City Iloilo and Cinematheque in Iloilo City, with 28 movies from Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Norway.

The presence of three Belgian movies, Allez Eddy, Groenten uit Balen and En amont du fleuve in the festival mirrors Belgium’s cultural diversity and its dynamic film-making tradition.

The comedy film Allez Eddy puts forward the Belgian heritage of cycling, particularly in Flanders, as it features the vibrant journey of an 11-year-old child in meeting his idol Eddy Merckx, fourfold winner of the Tour de France. The film reflects family and community values and the fascinating relationship of parents to their child.
Groenten uit Balen (Germaine) also celebrates the role of youth in society, as well as solidarity among workers and between social classes. It explores the economic crisis of the 70’s and the beginning of globalization in Belgium. Even though the story happened a while ago, the questions of community and loyalty still resonate today. The film is based on a true story and a theatre play written by famous author Walter van den Broeck.

If the Flemish films draw our attention to the complex relations of youth, family and community, En amont du fleuve is more introspective and concentrates on a search for individual identity in a natural landscape devoid of cultural references. This film represents an exciting journey of two brothers and at the same time a psychological adventure, that echoes a longing for well-being and harmony. It might symbolise an escape from the restlessness of modern life in a highly urbanised country.
With the new initiative to bring the film festival to the Visayas region, the Embassy of Belgium hopes that the event will encourage a wider audience to discover commonalities between peoples sharing a similar past and confronting similar challenges.

The festival is presented by the EU Delegation to the Philippines and the 15 EU member states embassies in Manila together with their cultural institutes; Alliance Francaise in Manila, the British Council, the Goethe-Institut, Instituto Cervantes, and the Philippine - Italian Association.
Cine Europa has earned a niche among film enthusiasts in the country because of its strong
collaboration with local partners, including the Film Development Council of the Philippines, SM Supermalls,  Arts Council of Cebu, Ayala Center in Cebu, Shangri-La Plaza,, the Ateneo De  Naga, University of the Philippines- Visayas in Tacloban, the Visayas State University in Baybay Leyte and the Provincial Government of Palawan and Palawan State University.

More information about the Belgian films:

En amont du fleuve (2016)
Director : Olivier Gourmet

Synopsis : On board a little tub of a boat, Homer and Joé, both in their fifties, sail a river up to waterfalls in Croatia. Until the recent death of their father, they did not know about each other's existence. Yet, they are half-brothers. Sean, an enigmatic Irish adventurer, joins them. “Upstream” is a psychological adventure where these modest and solitary men will reveal some of their secrets, their hopes, perhaps, and where blood ties, whether they like it or not, will unite them.

Groenten uit Balen (Germaine) (2011)

Director: Frank Van Mechelen

Synopsis: 18-year-old Germaine, who lives with her parents and grandfather in a small house in Balen, works in a supermarket, listens to pop music and dreams of a better life. But when workers at the local factory, including her reluctant father, decide to go on strike, things change forever.

Allez, Eddy (2012)
Director : Gert Embrechts

Synopsis : 11-year-old cycling fan Freddy is the son of a butcher in an idyllic village in nowhereland. When the first supermarket opens its doors in the village and organises a cycle race, the winner will get to meet Eddy Merckx. Despite his father’s opposition, Freddy races nonetheless and discovers a whole new world.

Prize for Best Film for Young Children at the awards ceremony of the Juniorfest – International Children’s and Youth Film Festival in the Czech Republic
Best International Children’s Film at the Mostra Internacional de Cinema in Brazil
Best International Film at the 5th edition of Coming-of-Age Movie Awards
Nominated for the Cinekid Jury Award in the Netherlands
Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the 18th Stony Brook Film Festival in Long Island, NY
Honourable Mention at the Family Festival in Italy