Koen Mortier shoots Angel
by Aurore Engelen
- The Flemish director has started filming his third feature film, inspired by the final days of racing cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke
Flemish director Koen Mortier began shooting his third feature film, Angel [+see also:
interview: Koen Mortier
film profile], on 24 October, based on the novel by Dimitri Verhulst, which tells the story of the final days of the famous Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke, found dead at the age of 34 in troubling circumstances in a hotel room in Senegal. Koen Mortier was first noticed in 2007 with his very radical debut film, Ex-Drummer [+see also:
film profile]. In 2010, he directed 22nd of May [+see also:
film profile], a prophetic film about a security officer dealing with an explosion in a shopping centre.
He'll also be tackling a sensitive subject in his most recent feature film which follows the life of Fatou. Being a prostitute is not easy, nor is being Senegalese, by the way. And Fatou is precisely both of those things. She satisfies the demands of passing tourists who regularly make her crappy marriage proposals, living a life that is far from glamorous, until one day a customer dies in her arms under dubious circumstances, and he happens to be a world-famous cyclist. Fatou will not make it out unscathed...
This is far from the first time that Dimitri Verlhust has seen one of his novels adapted for the big screen – see The Misfortunates [+see also:
interview: Felix van Groeningen
film profile] in 2009, and Problemski Hotel [+see also:
film profile] in 2015. Once again, it's a delicate subject, as the memory of the cyclist is very much still alive in Belgium. The hero will be played by the very intense Vincent Rottiers (Dheepan, Nocturama, The World Belongs to Us [+see also:
interview: Stephan Streker
film profile]), and the young Senegalese woman is played by Fatou N'Diaye, discovered for her role in My Voice [+see also:
film profile] before starring frequently on television. Alongside them is Paul Bartel (Les Révoltés,The Giants [+see also:
film profile], Michael Kohlhaas [+see also:
interview: Arnaud des Pallières
Angel was produced by Czar and co-produced by Anonymes Films in Belgium, and Graniet Films in the Netherlands, with the support of the VAF and screen.brussels. The film will be distributed by Paradiso in Belgium, and sold by Stray Dogs.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.