EN - At the age of four, her father took Suzanne away from Africa to give her a European education. She is what people in the colonial era called, "a mulatto child saved from a negro destiny". Suzanne is my aunt and her father is my grandfather. However, I was not aware of her existence until I was 27. This film breaks the silence that has shrouded her origins.

FR - Suzanne, la fille d’un agent territorial belge et d’une femme rwandaise, est née en 1926. A cette époque, les relations entre personnes de couleurs différentes étaient sanctionnées. A l’âge de 4 ans, le père de Suzanne lui fait quitter l’Afrique pour lui inculquer une éducation européenne. Elle est ce que les personnes dans le milieu colonial appelaient « un enfant métis sauvé d’une destinée de noir ».

Suzanne est ma tante. Son père est mon grand-père. Pourtant, j’ignorais son existence jusqu’à l’âge de 27 ans. Ce film brise le silence autour des origines de Suzanne, au croisement entre l’histoire familiale et l’histoire du colonialisme.


Title Greetings from the Colony
Original title Bon baisers de la colonie
Original language French
Status Completed
Production Minority Flemish
Category Docs
Year 2011


Photography Nicolas Rincon-Gille
Editing Catherine Gouze
Sound Gilles Laurent, Alex Davidson
Music Tuur Florizoone
Co-producers Michel Steyaert, Cyril Bibas

Technical specs

Running time film 74'
Release format HD
Aspect ratio 16/9
Sound format Stereo
Colour Colour


Supported by Communauté française de Belgique, Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Procirep, CNC, RTBF, ARTE
Production partners CVB, Cargo Films (FR)


2011: IFF / 2012: Afrika Film Festival, Hot docs Toronto 2012, Vues d'Afrique Montréal

Greetings from the Colony in competition at Hot Docs

Nathalie Borgers’ documentary Greetings from the Colony has been selected for Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival (26 April – 6 May), one of the world’s most prestigious documentary festivals. The 74-minute story brings to light one of the darker episodes in Belgium’s history, but it also has a strong personal dimension for Borgers herself as its plot revolves around the consequences of decisions made by her own grandfather.

Hot Docs Documentary Festival Canada_logoWhen her grandfather served as a territorial agent in Rwanda, he conceived three children with a local woman. At the end of his term, however, he meets a young Belgian woman, marries her and returns to Belgium, abandoning his Rwandan wife and two sons. He chooses to bring only his daughter Suzanne, in the hope that he can give her a better life than what she faces in Rwanda.

Published on Thursday 22 March 2012

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Last edited on 23 July 2014

Short info

Director Nathalie Borgers
Producers Maarten Loix
Writers Nathalie Borgers

Limited adventures
Maarten Loix
17, Strijdersgang
1081 Brussels
T +32 (0)485 91 68 22


Cargo Films
Carine Leblanc
12-16 Villa Saint-Michel
75018 Paris
T +33 (0)1 53 34 13 80
F +33 (0)1 53 34 13 81

Website www.cvb-videp.be
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