BELGICA (2016)



A film by Felix van Groeningen

Cast: Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir, Stefaan De Winter

Raw, music pumping through the veins of Belgica it is the latest music film by the Belgian director, Felix van Groeningen, whose last music-based drama, “The Broken Circle Breakdown”, the independent film sensation.

Based loosely on actual events inspired by Groeningen’s father, the film is set in Belgium bar operated by Jo (Stef Aerts), whose has  rockstar appearance. Jo has a saggy eyelid caused by a childhood infection, is merely a mask for his quiet demeanor. He is a doer and his dream is to open his own bar. He gets reconnected with his older brother which he needs his help. Frank (Tom Vermeir), who is struggling with the boredom of life with a wife and kid. He wants a change badly enough that is going to cause a disaster but he thinks he is doing something worthwhile.


Based on the real-life Charlatan Bar, the Belgica doesn’t look like much at first. It needs a face lift which happens. The crew is jo and Frank’s friends a few model for barmaid a couple big guys for security and the waitresses. A DJ is in place plus the local popular music band sets in where everybody is having a good time. But both bother bring problems from the outside. Of course their journey is partying, beer drinking, sex , and drugs plus of course Rock and Roll. The relationship between the two brothers has some friction to the point it is going to blow. Frank’s wife is not too happy about the situation either. The director has done a great job to build the tension plus the music it seems was carefully chosen. Felix van Groeningen has a straight approach with this film and pay attention to the editing and frame works here creative I would say. And this film got me thirsty for a beer, so cheers.




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