MISERE AU BORINAGE

By : Henri Storck, Joris Ivens

Belgique, 1933, 83 mn
DVD zone 2, N&B,


Not available for sale now


BORINAGE

By : Henri Storck, Joris Ivens

Beligum, 1933, 83 mn
DVD zone 2, N&B

Original title : MISERE AU BORINAGE

1 DVD and 1 Blu-ray
Original version (French and Dutch) with Dutch and English subtitles

BORINAGE is a 1933 Belgian documentary film directed by Henri Storck and Joris Ivens.
The film opens with these words: “Crisis in the Capitalist World. Factories are closed down, abandoned. Millions of proletarians are hungry!”
The Borinage is one of the most famous industrial region of Wallonia (and of the classic industrial revolution in general) because of its history of hard and long social strikes. For instance, in 1932 with a long strike (two months) in this region but also in Liège and Charleroi is quoted as one of the most important work of the Political cinema .

In 1933 Henri Storck, who was one of the leading figures of the Belgium film avant-garde, asked Joris Ivens to help him to make a film about the social consequences of the miners strike in the Borinage the year before. Arriving at this mine region Storck and Ivens forgot about aesthetics. As Henri Storck tells: " We stopped thinking about cinema and how to frame shots and instead became dominated by the irrepressible need to produce images as stark, bare, and sincere as possible to fit the cruel facts reality had thrown at us." In a sober style the film confronts the spectator with the misery of the miners; unemployed or exploited by the mine companies they were, with their families, expelled from their homes if they couldn't afford the rent. Ivens used the method of re-enactment to incorporate the miners strike of 1932 in the film.

Henri Storck (1907, Ostend - 1999, Brussels) was a Belgian author, film-maker and documentarist. 5 years after having directed BORINAGE, he founded with Andre Thirifays and Pierre Vermeylen the Royal Belgian Film Archive (Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique). He played as an actor in two key films of cinema HISTORY: Jean Vigo's ZERO DE CONDUITE (1933) and Chantal Akerman's JEANNE DIELMAN, 23 QUAY COMMERCIAL, 1080 BRUSSELS (1976) .

The DVD/Blu-ray contains:
BORINAGE (MISERE AU BORINAGE), 1933, 27 minutes

Bonus : the following short films:
THE HOUSES OF MISERY (LES MAISONS DE LA MISERES), 1937, 28 minutes
THE BOSS IS DEAD (LE PATRON EST MORT), 1938, 28 minutes