|Index||5 reviews in total|
1942. The young person and the idealist Werner of Smedt, member of the Belgian resistance, is in charge of escorting to Barcelona two British pilots, Stuart Laing and Oliver Windross, whose plane was shoots down. During this time, in London, the Allies prepare a landing in Netherlands and decide to implant on the spot Resistance fighters' new network, which will be steered by Werner De Smedt. An ambitious and deeply moving work, which evokes the strategic stakes in the Resistance - in defiance of the individual - during the Second World war.
Gaston's War is based on the well-known novel by Allan Mayer, and directed by Flemish director Robbe De Hert (who also directed Blueberry Hill, another period-flick). The film is supposed to be the real life story of a young Flemish resistance fighter called Gaston Vandermeerssche. He was in the underground-resistance movement during the German occupation of Belgium. The film stars off pretty tense, but starts to lose it's momentum toward the end. The narrative sometimes feels a bit shoddy, but that is no surprise when one considers the fact that director De Hert had a big bust-up with his producers about the final cut. Unfortunately the film suffers from this quarrel. The final cut feels like a 'compromise' between two visions, which is a shame, because with a bit more tweaking, this film could have truly been great. Now it merely is a flawed, but all together a satisfying Flemish film.
Well, i am a big fan of the Belgian films, but i noticed that Brave
Little Belgium has not many war films. Indeed, we have a very rich war
history (WWI, Korea, Waterloo, Battle of the Golden Spurs, Congo
Crisis, etc...). Like you see, plenty of material for at least ONE
Belgian war film. But after a long (and holy) quest, i found "Gaston's
War", a war/drama film made by Robbe De Hert (one of my favorite
The story is set in the year 1942-'43. The war is still going on, and Belgium has fallen to the Germans. Gaston Vandermeerssche, a 21 year old resistance fighter, has a mission to bring 2 British pilots, to the Spannish border. After the job is done, he gets another assigement, to build a new resistance in Holland. But he gets betrayed, and it doesn't take long for he is being arrested by the Gestapo and he falls into the hand of the SS.
I really enjoyed this movie. OK it isn't a big production, and the only kind of Battle scenes you will see, are real archive footage and some battle ambiance on the background (gunshots, bombs and all that stuff), but i really liked the story, and i just hope that in there will be more Belgian war films in the future.
Maybe not knowing the actors/actresses, if your not from Belgium or Hollans, you might be able to somehow enjoy this. Almost all appearances are miscast. And this film is supposed to be a drama. I's a comedy, and a bad one.
Fernand Auwera who was in fact a writer of dialogues for television-series and Luc W.L. Jansen of which this was the first and also the last script he wrote, are not capable of transforming the book of Allan Mayer "Gaston's War", about the adventures of a man of the Resistance, into a consistent movie. There are so many stories about the Second World-War in Belgium but never one Belgian director, and certainly not Robbe De Hert, could make an interesting movie involving the different aspects of the war: the Resistance, the deportations and the cruel aftermath after the war with the blind executions of collaborators. So this movie is again a failed opportunity. Bur more, there were problems between the Flemish producer Tharsi Vanhuysse, who I am afraid never produced one good movie, and the Spanish co-producer. Antonio Saura (II) did his best but you can see that the end of the story suffers from this financial hitch. The music by Theo Nijland adds nothing to the tension. The tortures scenes are ridiculous and are an insult to all the people who had atrocious sufferings in the hands of the S.D. or Gestapo. Werner De Smedt is a miscasting as Gaston and I think that the real Gaston Vandermeerssche would turn his head in his grave if he saw this movie.
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