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RELEASES Belgium

From 19th-century England to modern business

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While independent US films take centre stage in Belgian theatres this quiet week, with the release of new films by the Coen brothers and Jason Reitman (Juno), four European titles are also hitting screens.

First on the line-up are two biopics, including UK director Jon Amiel’s Creation [+see also:
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, which centres on The Origin of Species author Charles Darwin and the tragic event that gave rise to his thinking, the death of his daughter. Devastated by this tragedy, he begins a personal odyssey involving faith and reason, torn between his growing scepticism towards an all-powerful God and his wife’s religiousness.

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Creation was produced by Recorded Picture Company, with backing from BBC Films and the UK Film Council. The film opened the latest Toronto Film Festival.

This week’s other historical biopic is John Rabe [+see also:
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, about “China’s Schindler”. In 1937, this German businessman, who was head of the local Siemens branch, was overcome by fateful historical events, and created within his factory a safety zone, where thousands of Chinese civilians took refuge in order to avoid attacks by the German and Japanese armies.

Honoured by its peers at the latest LOLA Awards, Florian Gallenberger’s film won Best Film, Best Actor, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.

Produced by Hofmann & Voges Entertainment and Majestic Filmproduktion, John Rabe received special funding from German Films for its Belgian distribution. Abc is launching the film on12 screens in Flanders and Wallonia.

The line-up also includes two French films: Jérôme Bonnell’s subtle The Queen of Clubs [+see also:
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; and Mathias Gokalp’s debut feature The Ordinary People [+see also:
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interview: Mathias Gokalp, director of…
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. Released on five screens by Cinéart, the latter film centres on some executives at a pharmaceutical company, who are confronted with an unofficial coaching session and succumb to the pervading paranoia.

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(Translated from French)

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