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Boerenpsalm (1989)

| Drama
This Flemish heimat-movie after a novel by Felix Timmermans, the title of which translates as "farmers psalm", is about the at first sight idyllic, but actually tragical life of Wortel, a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bert André
Jef Burm ...
Pastoor
Ludo Busschots
Sabine De Volder ...
Amelieke
Rudi Delhem
Christel Domen ...
Frisine
Erik Goossens ...
Fons
Jos van Gorp ...
Commissaris
Magda Lesage ...
Fien
Gerda Marchand ...
Weduwe
Jacky Morel ...
Ossekop
Ugo Prinsen ...
Franelle
Jeanine Schevernels
...
Pasgeboren Baby
Jan Steen ...
Jongen op begrafenis
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This Flemish heimat-movie after a novel by Felix Timmermans, the title of which translates as "farmers psalm", is about the at first sight idyllic, but actually tragical life of Wortel, a god-fearing peasant in a pre-war Belgian village, who has a hard time accepting the curate's assurance it's all part of God's grand plan when his loved ones keep coming to terrible harm, and searching solace in the hand-carving of a wooden statue of Christ. Written by KGF Vissers

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FLEMISH MISERY
27 July 2003 | by (Gent, Belgium) – See all my reviews

In case you wanna torture yourself with what probably must be the most boring (and undeliberately wanted hilarious) picture you must see Boerenpsalm! Based upon the novel from Felix Timmermans (classic Flemish novelist who can be seen as a sort Emile Zola of Flanders) we see Flanders hundred years ago, the Flemish farmer's life! This must be for decades the most beloved area for Belgian movies and "Boerenpsalm" really captures all the clichés from the genre. Nothing wrong with it so far, a movie more of less in the genre wouldn't evoke hard feelings, but it's done with such an amateur-style (even if director Roland Verhavert has directed 30 movies, none of them mean anything nontheless) which count for the directing as well the acting, and add the script as well... The most used phrase must be "Ik zien ou geerne" which is Flemish for I love you. And they love everything...the misery, the women, the land they work on, the beer they drink.... Everything is surrounded by catholicism that it makes you puke (the day the farmer Wortel buries his son, his wife gives birth to a twin...at the cemetary yes!). It really is a shame that this sort of romantism glorifies the sadness of farmers who were nothing but slaves from the bourgeoisie. Verhavert directs like a school teacher (Wortel's daughter is blind and the most genius he can do with it is the great question "Isn't it sad you can see nothing?") and all he does is interrupting scenes that could be bearable.... The whole movie constantly has the shot from Wortel (played by Ronny Waterschoot, who is daily on Flemish TV on the terrible soap "Thuis") making a sculpture from Christ...it seems the sculpture (just a wooden Christ!) took him his lifetime and yet it seems that it is all he does during his free time. More bad acting comes from Magda Lesage (all she do is laughing...even if she fell from the stairs dying), Christel Domen (Wortel's second wife who in fact is his daughter in law, apart from doing some sexy posses the girl has no use on the screen) and the laughable Jef Burm who plays the priest. It seems like all he can answer is "because God wants it...." and he must be the first priest in history who wants one of his believers (Wortel yes!) to get married for a third time just because he doesn't have to work on the field any longer. Last note for baddest acting I've seen in years goes for Karen Van Parijs, the blind daughter..."Daddy will you make Christ with open or closed eyes?" must be a genius set for director Verhavert, a normal guy just likes me just yells "Make Flemish movies we want and not this terrible s***!"


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