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Belgian-Dutch Documentary ‘An Angel in Doel’ Grabs Critical Acclaim

An Angel in Doel, All Lights Film Magazine, ALFM, All Lights Magazine

 

Belgian-Dutch documentary ‘An Angel in Doel’ written and directed by Tom Fassaert is becoming a well accepted piece of art among the critics.

The documentary is about the village of Doel near the port of Antwerp which is threatened to be demolished because of the expansion of the port of Antwerp causing a lot of people to leave which basically makes it a ghost town.

While Doel is slowly dying the elderly Emilienne attempts to keep up pretence of normality. At her kitchen table village life seems to continue like nothing has changed. But when her close friends leave, the village priest dies and demolition begins, the downfall seems inevitable.

Emilienne is one of the few inhabitants left in Doel; she is 75 years old and a widow who has been living in Doel for most of her life. We mainly see her either looking outside when yet another building is being torn down, feeding the stray neighbor cats or sitting at her kitchen table with her friends and neighbors. A small group of people that gets smaller and smaller as the documentary progresses. We also see the pastor of the village, and old man whose chemo therapy has stopped and who is terminally ill. Yet he still tries to do his task for the community in and outside of his church.

The filmmaker just observes and records the conversations and emotions. Near the end of the documentary the loneliness of Emilienne is becoming more obvious as, unlike in the beginning, she starts to talk more and more to the camera.

 

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