Gust Van den Berghe’s Little Baby Jesus of Flandr is set for a Christmas release in Dutch theatres. The director was present at a special avant premiere at the Eye Institute in Amsterdam. Eye’s distribution arm opens the film on 21 December.

Still from Gust Van den Berghe's Little Baby Jesus of FlandrLittle Baby Jesus of Flandr started its career in the Director’s Fortnight of Cannes 2010. The film was well received with The Hollywood Reporter calling it ‘a tribute to the kind of work on which the Cannes sidebar made its name’, while Variety compared the film to ‘Pasolini's poetry and theme of the sacredness of the common people, as well as some of the more operatic aspects of Fellini's work, blending with a painterly vein that's decidedly Flemish’. In 2011, director Van den Berghe returned to Cannes with his second feature, Blue Bird.

In Little Baby Jesus of Flandr, three beggars are tired of being poor and hungry, so go out singing Epiphany on Christmas Eve. Money, food and drink are thrust upon them, but on their way home they get lost in the woods and witness the birth of Little Baby Jesus. Dazzled by this miracle, they give away all their gains. When Christmas next comes around, they decide to sing again. But puzzled about last year’s experience, they start to quarrel over their gifts. Eventually they fall out and go their own separate ways.

Little Baby Jesus of Flandr is produced by Tomas Leyers for Minds Meet (Lost Persons Area, Deep in a Dream of You). Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird is set for a March opening in the Netherlands, again through eye. Both films received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).

Published on Tuesday 20 December 2011

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