September 2012

"De Engel van Doel" ("An Angel in Doel")

by Tom Fassaert, opens: September 20, 2012

The little village of Doel stands in the way of the expanding port of Antwerp. The demolition permit has been granted – the past must make way for the future. Emilienne, a sprightly old lady, sees things differently. She doesn’t want to move – she’s far too happy in her house with its wild garden. But the expansion work is progressing and Doel already seems almost like a ghost town. Only the oldest inhabitants, including Emilienne’s friend Colette and the elderly village rector, remain, holding out tenaciously in the face of their shared fate. When the rector dies and Colette appears to give up, Emilienne is left behind all alone.

"De Engel van Doel" tells not only of the victims of the belief in progress, but also shows through Emilienne an active and wily representative of the protest culture that has flared up in recent times. The battle to save the last houses in Doel seems hopeless and absurd, as volatile as it is contemporary. The black-and-white format enhances the hostile atmosphere and the camera provides some powerful snapshots: a gigantic freighter silently nosing its way past Doel in the fog, or when the flowery wallpaper of a derelict house provides the backdrop for an improvised band rehearsal while Emilienne, the last angel of Doel, doggedly goes on feeding her chickens.

Watch the trailer here

Tom Fassaert was born on August 25, 1979 in Naarden. He grew up in both the Netherlands and South Africa before studying physical geography at Amsterdam University and later documentary film at the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam. In 2006 Fassaert graduated with the critically acclaimed documentary short "Doel Leeft". "De Engel van Doel" is his debut feature-length documentary.

DE ENGEL VAN DOEL ("An Angel in Doel")
Land/Year: Neatherlands, Belgum 2011. Screening format: Blu-ray (shot on  Super16), 1:1.85, b/w. Length: 77 Min. Language: Flämisch. Language version: OV with German subtitles. Productionen: SNG, Amsterdam; CinéTéFilmproducties, Amsterdam. Director, Author: Tom Fassaert. Camera: Daniël Bouquet, Diderik Evers, Reinout Steenhuizen. Sound: Victor Horstink, Jaap Hermans, Maarten de Rooij, Gijs Stollman. Sound mix: Jan Willem van den Brink. Music: Tobias Borkert. Editor: Tom Fassaert, Axel Skovdal Roelofs, Thabi Mooi. Producers: Digna Sinke, Willem Thijssen.