Biography

Filmography - directed

Filmography - written

From the Flanders (i) magazine

Brussels Revisited

Welcome HomeTom Heene’s debut feature, began as three interlinked short films, 3 X Lila. The project is set in Brussels, the city where the director is based. At night, a car carrying some spoiled young ‘eurocrats’ to a party, crashes into a bicyclist. She is badly hurt. This is Lila, a young woman recently returned to Belgium from travels abroad. Fiercely independent, she is in the process of splitting up with her boyfriend Benjamin, even if she is still as physically attracted to him as ever. We see her arriving at the airport in Brussels and accompanying an Iranian man in the bus to the city centre. He hasn’t been in the city for years and is bewildered by how it has changed, with its new array of skyscrapers and glass-fronted office blocks.

Text : Geoffrey Macnab ; Portrait : Bart Dewaele

Tom HeeneThe basis was seeing Brussels as a map of trajectories that cross each other,’ Heene says of the Short Cuts-style structure of Welcome Home. 'I’ve lived 20 years in Brussels. People leave and people come back… the film is close to how I feel about this town.’ If Welcome Home is a love letter to Brussels, it is a very barbed one. The city is in a constant state of flux. This is underlined by the different languages used by the people in the film (English, Dutch, French) by the coming and going of the characters and by the transformations in the buildings. The Iranian man, revisiting Brussels after so long away, tells Lila that the architect who has built all these impersonal, modernist structures should be ‘whipped’.

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Published on Thursday 28 July 2011

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