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 »
Antje de Boeck
In August 1996, bus drivers Marcel Van Loock and Wim Moreels are apprehended by the Moroccan Customs for drug trafficking. Inside their bus, hidden behind a false compartment, they have ... See full summary »
Five close friends, all of them married, share a loft to meet their mistresses. One day they find the body of a young woman in the loft. Since there are only five keys to the loft, the five men begin to suspect each other of murder.
Erik Van Looy
Koen De Bouw,
The once unconditional friendship between police officers Vincke and Verstuyft hits a very rough patch when they come up against a series of gruesome murders. Complicating matters even ... See full summary »
Koen De Bouw,
Werner De Smedt,
Germaine Debruycker is 18 when the workers at the Vieille Montagne factory, including her father, go on strike to obtain a 10 franc raise. The turbulent strike lasts for 9 weeks and changes their lives forever. Based on a true story.
Frank van Mechelen
Michel van Dousselaere
Hector had been in the orphanage for 35 years, until his aunt Ella and uncle Achiel pick him up. They want him to work at their bakery. At his new home he also helps training Achiel's son, ... See full summary »
Vincke and Verstuyft are one of the best detective teams of the Antwerp police force. When they are confronted with the disappearance of a top official and the murder of two prostitutes, the trail leads to the almost retired assassin Angelo Ledda. Since Ledda starts showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, it's getting more and more difficult to complete his contracts. When he has to murder a 12-year old call-girl, he refuses and becomes a target himself. While Vincke and Verstuyft are chasing him and counting the corpses, Ledda is taking care of his employers.Written by
In the first scene in the café, Bieke en Vincke are watching an episode of "Buiten de Zone" (season 2, episode 2: "Kitsch en Kunst"), a highly popular youth series in the 1990s. The actor who plays Bieke's father in the movie, Dirk Roofthooft, appeared several times in this series. See more »
Some of the cars carry European-style license plates (full width, with a blue European mark on the left side - most clearly seen on the Mercedes cab that Ledda rides in). These were not yet introduced in 1995, the time the movie is set. See more »
I saw this film at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival. Although based on a novel, this stylish police thriller's main conceit ("hit-man has Alzheimer's") could have been lifted from a Hollywood film executive's idea of "high concept". Except that it would have made a forgettable Hollywood picture. Instead, director Van Looy sets this story in his native Belgium. Police detectives Vincke and Verstuyft are like a modern day Starsky and Hutch, without the bad haircuts. Who knew that Antwerp even had police, never mind such cool ones? Their job is to track down the man who's killed several high-profile politicians and a young child prostitute.
Reminding me a lot of Terence Stamp in The Limey, veteran actor Jan Decleir portrays aging hitman Angelo Ledda, whose refusal to kill the young girl leads him to seek revenge on the people who want her dead. His deterioration is a cause for sympathy as well as a plot device. He must complete his "mission" before he forgets his reasons for carrying it out. He also plays a cat and mouse game with the police who are trying to solve the killings, staying one step ahead until he can no longer think clearly.
Van Looy admitted his fondness for "police thrillers with a soul" and especially for the work of Michael Mann, and the influence of Mann is everywhere. If you like Mann, you'll like this film. Well-developed characters, moody cinematography and fine acting didn't completely save this film, though. I thought the plot was a little too straightforward, and the film itself was about 20 minutes too long, with a couple of false endings that could have been re-cut. I think I would have given a shorter version of this film an 8, but even if it was a slightly derivative cop film, it was a slightly derivative cop film IN FLEMISH, which has to count for something!
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