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Daens (1992)

7.7
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In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gérard Desarthe ...
Charles Woeste
Antje de Boeck ...
Nette Scholliers
...
Jan De Meeter
Karel Baetens ...
Jefke
Julien Schoenaerts ...
Bishop Stillemans
Wim Meuwissen ...
Pieter Daens
Brit Alen ...
Louise Daens
Johan Leysen ...
Schmitt
Idwig Stephane ...
Eugene Borremans
Linda van Dyck ...
Elizabeth Borremans (as Linda van Dijck)
Jappe Claes ...
Ponnet
Brenda Bertin ...
Marie
Alex Wilequet ...
Monsignor Goossens
Rik Hancké ...
Nuncio
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Storyline

In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the petite bourgeoisie in oppressing workers. He writes a few columns for the Catholic paper, and soon workers are listening and the powerful are in an uproar. He's expelled from the Catholic party, so he starts the Christian Democrats and is elected to Parliament. After Rome disciplines him, he must choose between two callings, as priest and as champion of workers. In subplots, a courageous young woman falls in love with a socialist and survives a shop foreman's rape; children die; prelates play billiards. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

25 February 1993 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

A Oposição  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Epic drama with an eye for small details
27 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

DAENS

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Stereo SR

Stijn Coninx's exemplary period drama mixes gritty realism (the harshness of life amongst the poor in 19th century Flanders) with romantic heroism (the struggle of the title character - a priest - to free the oppressed workers from the tyrannical control of their middle-class rulers). Coninx takes a distinctly cinematic view of the proceedings and never allows the film's depressing subject matter to overwhelm the viewer, preferring instead to milk the dramatic potential from a fascinating script, which is based on fact. Every scene is a miniature gem, sometimes small and intimate, sometimes grand and sweeping, and Coninx invites the viewer to share in Daens' sense of outrage and injustice. He's helped in no small measure by a superlative cast, headed by Jan Decleir as the passionate, free-thinking Daens, Antje de Boeck as a gutsy factory worker who rails against the horrendous working conditions around her, and Gerard Desarthe as the villain of the piece, determined to maintain the status quo and discredit Daens in the process. Michael Pas also makes an impression as a dedicated Communist who rallies to the priest's cause and falls in love with de Boeck along the way. Excellent production values.

(Dutch and French dialogue)


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