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3th DMZ Docs(2011)

I AM DOCU



An Angel in Doel

Tom FASSAERT

  • Netherlands, Belgium
  • 2011
  • 76min
  • HD
  • black and white

Synopsis

The small village of Doel located near the port city of Antwerp in Belgium is at risk of fading into history due to Antwerp’s 20-year pier expansion project. Residents have been moving out of their hometown one after the other with only a few elderly villagers now remaining. But they too are planning to leave the city soon - except for Father Verstraete and the elderly Emilienne who are determined to spend their last days in Doel. Emilienne visits the mayor who reassures her she has another five or six years, but this turns out to be an empty promise made by a shallow politician. To make matters worse, Father Verstraete’s death pushes Emilienne’s close friends to finally abandon the village, and partial demolition starts as walls begin to be covered with graffiti. Shot in black and white, the film highlights the emptiness and loneliness of a community’s downfall enforced in the name of ‘development’. Liveliness no longer exists in Doel, now transformed into a ghost town. Inspired by a short account of Doel’s fate in a newspaper, Dutch filmmaker Tom Fassaert unassumingly introduces images covering the course of six years, from the village gravesite where Emilienne’s husband is laid and her rigid neighbors to scenes of disputes she has with her children at the dining table. Before its demise, Doel finally descends to the status of a tourist attraction for outsiders. And as the film ends, the director never shows what eventually happens to Emilienne. Perhaps this might have been out of dread of disclosing the story’s final aftermath, or perhaps out of hope for a different Doel that continues on in another place. (CHUN Jin-su)

Review

Director

  • Tom FASSAERT

     Tom Fassaert grew up in both the Netherlands and South Africa. In 2006 Fassaert graduated from the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam with the critically acclaimed documentary short Doel Leeft, a film about a small Flemish village threatened with demolition. Since his graduation, Fassaert has made several short documentaries, edited a feature-length music documentary for director Frank Scheffer, and written a script for a feature-length documentary. After five years of staying in Doel, he finally finished shooting and An Angel in Doel was born. An Angel in Doel (2011) In Het Wild (2008) L’Homme et la Forêt (2008) Hotel de Pekin (2007) Doel Lives (2006)​

Credit

  • ProducerDigna SINKE
  • Cinematography Daniël BOUQUET, DiderÍk EVERS, Reinout STEENHUIZEN
  • Editor Tom FASSAERT, Thabí MOOI, Axel Skovdal ROELOFS
  • Music Tobias BORKERT
  • Sound Victor HORSTINK, Maarten DE ROOIJ, Gijs STOLLMAN, Jaap HERMANS

Distributor / World Sales

Distribution / World Sales  SNG Film

Address  Van Hallstraat 52-2, 1051 HH Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tel  31 20 686 7837

E-mail  sngfilm@xs4all.nl​