Is there such a thing as a single Belgian cinema? A country that is culturally and linguistically divided between the Dutch-speaking Flanders and the francophone Brussels and Wallonia, Belgium is a contested site, and its fragile unity continues to be challenged by separatists. Nevertheless, the filmic output of this divided country merits serious attention, and Directory of World Cinema: Belgium is the comprehensive guide it richly deserves. Featuring contributions from leading Belgian and international film scholars, the essays here examine the work and careers of the greatest names of Belgian cinema, from its pioneers to its modern age, while also investigating its lesser-known productions and intersections with Belgian art, history, literature, and culture, as well as the legacies of social documentary, surrealism, and magical realism. Small but mighty, Belgium has for the last decade produced an average of forty feature films a year, an extraordinary accomplishment for a country of just ten million. Directory of World Cinema: Belgium will find grateful readers in anyone interested in Belgian culture and identity.
Marcelline Block is a lecturer at Princeton University, where she is completing her PhD in French. She is the author or editor of several books, including World Film Locations: Marseilles, World Film Locations: Paris, and Situating the Feminist Gaze and Spectatorship in Postwar Cinema. Jeremi Szaniawski is a Belgian graduate student at Yale University in the joint Slavic and Film Studies Program.