You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Wall

In the land of Magritte and surrealism --- Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in "The Wall" --- anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country's bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke production overwhelmed by a political tract as heavy as cement. Though pic is good as a quickie lesson on Belgian social tensions, one might have expected a better developed and more comic result from the director of the critically acclaimed hit "Ma vie en rose." Euro TV will be its main market.

With:
Albert ..... Daniel Hanssens Father ..... Mil Seghers Wendy ..... Pascale Bal

In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke production overwhelmed by a political tract as heavy as cement. Though pic is good as a quickie lesson on Belgian social tensions, one might have expected a better developed and more comic result from the director of the critically acclaimed hit “Ma vie en rose.” Euro TV will be its main market.

Albert (Daniel Hanssens) is the popular owner of a take-out French fry joint positioned exactly on Belgium’s “linguistic border” He’s from the French side, but speaks both lingoes. On the eve of the millennium, the authorities decide to solve the problem for once and for all by putting up their own Berlin Wall — which cuts Albert’s stand in half.

Padding the tale without adding much is the “surreal” ghost of Albert’s long-dead father (Mil Seghers), who palely materializes at inconvenient moments, like when his son is bedding a sweet Flemish girl (Pascale Bal). Their inter-linguistic romance naturally complicates matters when they have to choose which side of the wall to live on.

Berliner is obviously anguished at his countrymen’s absurd division; by pushing it to its ultimate conclusion — Nazi-like paramilitary forces rounding up citizens — “The Wall” brings home the gravity of the problem. But story develops with the obviousness of a comic book, losing the audience’s interest as soon as it becomes apparent what the bulldozers and men in yellow suits are up to.

Cinematographer Yves Cape opts for a hard-edged look of unnatural colors that reinforces the idea of strangeness and alienation.

The Wall

(COMEDY-DRAMA -- FRENCH)

Production: A Collection 2000 Seen By presentation of a La Sept ARTE/Haut & Court/WFE co-production in association with Centre National de la Cinematographie, PROCIREP. (International sales: Celluloid Dreams.) Produced by Pierre Chevalier, Carole Scotta, Caroline Benjo, Simon Arnal. Directed, written by Alain Berliner. Camera (color), Yves Cape; editor, Sandrine Deegen; music, Alain Debaisieux; production designer, Pierre-Francois Limbosch; sound, Olivier Hespel. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 18, 1998. Running time: 67 MIN.

With: Albert ..... Daniel Hanssens Father ..... Mil Seghers Wendy ..... Pascale BalWith: Michael Pas, Peter Michel, Damien Gillard.

More Film

  • BondIt Media Capital

    BondIt Media Capital Closes $20 Million Credit Facility (EXCLUSIVE)

    In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke […]

  • Brookings Institution presents "The Life She

    Brookings Institution Doc Puts a Human Face on the Medical Marijuana Movement

    In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke […]

  • Playback Podcast: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini'

    Playback: Aaron Katz on 'Gemini' and the Erosion of Mid-Budget Studio Filmmaking

    In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke […]

  • The Equalizer 2 trailer

    Denzel Washington Is Back in Action in 'Equalizer 2' Trailer

    In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke […]

  • Robert Redford

    Robert Redford's 'The Old Man and the Gun' Lands Awards-Season Opening

    In the land of Magritte and surrealism — Belgian helmer Alain Berliner reminds us in “The Wall” — anything can happen on the eve of the year 2000, even the overnight erection of a wall between the country’s bickering Flemish and French-speaking sides. This hourlong entry in the Collection 2000 series is basically a one-joke […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content