Bruno Dumont • France • 2006 • An age-old tale of love and war starring nonprofessional actors.
Demester lives a hardscrabble life as a farmer in rural Belgium. Amid the rugged, unforgiving landscape, he lives a lonely existence, punctuated by meetings with his secret lover Barbe. He refuses to acknowledge they’re a couple, leading Barbe to sleep with another local, Blondel, in revenge. Soon both men are off to war in an unnamed land, and Barbe is left to pick up the pieces.
Filmed with nonprofessional actors, Flanders refracts an age-old tale of love and war through the eyes of individuals desperately seeking, yet unable to find, any meaning or connection in life. Bruno Dumont’s fourth film premiered at Toronto, Camerimage, and Cannes, where it won the Grand Prize of the Jury.