From the Flanders (i) magazine

Power to the people

Being set in the 1970s doesn't make Germaine a museum piece. 'Even now, 40 years on, it remains very current,' says its director, Frank Van Mechelen. The film is based on a play from the period, which was inspired by the author's experience of a wildcat strike. Van Mechelen thinks the questions of community and family loyalty that it raises should still resonate. 'I hope that things are still the same now, that people feel a sort of solidarity, that they want to help each other.'

Frank Van Mechelen - portraitThe story revolves around the Debruycker family. Jan (Stany Crets) works at a zinc factory in Balen, a small town in the Kempen region in the north east of Belgium. When a strike breaks out in the winter of 1970-71 he is not too keen on taking part, but he is also not brave enough to follow his bitter old father's advice and cross the picket line. With no money coming in, the family has to get by on what his daughter Germaine (Evelien Bosmans) brings in from working at the checkout in a supermarket in near-by Mol.

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Published on Thursday 9 February 2012

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