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DÉJÀ S'ENVOLE LA FLEUR MAIGRE

Paul Meyer
price 15 €

Representative of Belgian social cinema both by its contents and its fate, the film From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom (Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre in French, the title being inspired by a poem by Salvatore Quasimodo) is undoubtedly Paul Meyer's crowning achievement. Undeservedly unseen for a number of decades, this film has been returned to its former glory thanks to restoration by the Royal Film Archive of Belgium. In addition: Klinkaart and Memorial to Egmont illustrate Meyer's skills as a film-maker while Juan Jimenez. A film clip once again underlines the maker's interest in human beings and the lot of workers.

From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom
1960, 80 min.
An Italian family in search of a better life comes to join the father, a miner in Borinage. They arrive as someone else is about to leave: Domenico, another Italian miner. After 17 years down the mine, he longs to return to his village now that there is less and less work. Poetically and expertly, Meyer films not only the misery and poverty of miners' families but also their moments of joy: children's first day at school, festive Sundays, games on the slag heaps...

Klinkaart
1956, 19 min.
During her first day at work in a brickworks near Antwerp at the beginning of the last century, a teenage girl first faces harassment by the boys who work there and then, at the end of the day, she is forced to allow the boss to exercise his "droit de seigneur".  Censored when shown on television, the film denounced the exploitation of the working class.

Memorial to Egmont
1958, 14 min.
Against a backdrop of Gaasbeek castle, the residence of the Count of Egmont, Meyer pays homage to a desire for freedom and a zest for life. The desire for freedom behind the Netherlands' resistance to the Inquisition and the repressive politics of Philipp II and the zest for life shown by the people of the Netherlands. Goethe's text is a fitting accompaniment to this ode to freedom and justice and against cruelty and oppression.

Juan Jimenez. A film clip
ca. 1963, 21 min.
Paul Meyer, an archivist who was always fascinated by his contemporaries, dedicates 8 episodes of the television series Ce pain quotidien to the immigration of foreign workers into Belgium. This series endeavours to touch on all aspects of immigration. In it we discover, among other things, the story of Juan Jiménez, a young man from Andalucía who leaves for Belgium in search of work. The clip shown here is a montage made by Meyer to introduce the series. We find out about Juan's youth and his passage to adulthood on the back of a mule.

Ziggurat
1994, 5 min.
Interview with Paul Meyer when the film was released in 1994. He discusses his reasons for making From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom and the film's lack of success, about which he feels rather bitter.

DVD 139 min.
Language French, Dutch
Subtitles Dutch, French, English
Subtitles Italian available for "Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre" only
Regional code PAL (region free)

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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre15 €
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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre
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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre
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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre
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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre
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Déjà s'envole la fleur maigre
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Klinkaart
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Klinkaart
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Gedenkboek voor Egmont
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Juan Jimenez. Séquence d'un film
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Juan Jimenez. Séquence d'un film
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