UC Belgian Cinema, Culture and Identity
Lectures and Screenings
Lecturer: Leen Engelen
Taking specific fiction and documentary films as its starting point, this course explores and questions the concept of ‘Belgian cinema’ and the image of Belgium (as an imagined community) as presented in film. The aim is not to offer an exhaustive overview of the history of Belgian cinema, but to look at how Belgian film makers have dealt with specific themes considered central to Belgian identity and history (e.g. colonialism, artistic and cultural traditions, country’s languages).
The course consists of in-class lessons and screenings offering an exploration of the connections between Belgian history, culture and identity, and the Belgian film tradition. Visits to leading cultural institutions as well as artist talks will be held during the course. Case studies include Flemish as well as Walloon films, and regional as well as (inter)national co-productions.
This approach will help students to gain an insight in to historical and recent developments in Belgian cinema and to become acquainted with a generation of young Belgian documentary filmmakers. The course matter should therefore provide a set of starting clues for students to follow and investigate deeper, both to develop their assignment for this course and to ground possible topics for the graduation projects they will carry out locally in the final semester.