The first shots give a general idea of the landscape and the place. The false soldiers march through the countryside. Serious, determined and solemn: they are not there just for the fun of it, even if they do have fake beards, operetta képis and fanciful regiments. They march in step and in rhythm. Canteen women serve them a drop of pékèt. Aside from the pleasure of imagining oneself to be a soldier of the old guard of Napoleon, or a captain of Empire, they are there to accompany the processions.
This is the benevolent alliance of the sabre and the aspergillum. The priests watch the soldiers parade by and vice versa. The troops mime battles, fire their guns with much noise and smoke and refresh themselves with beer. The banquets resemble those of the fraternities, with speeches and student-like initiation ceremonies.
The participants play the game and literally relive history. The crowd also takes it all very seriously. A Storckian shot: a blind man and his dog ‘watch’ the parade pass by.
Director : Henri Storck assisted by David McNeil
Cameramen : Michel Baudour, Michael Sander, Paul De Fru, assisted by Michel De Fru, Peter Anger, Michel Ognier, Michel Houssiau
Sound engineers : Marcel Bertiaux, Alain Pierre
Editing : Alain Marchal assisted by Eva Houdova
Continuity people : Anne Hislaire and Jean McNeil
Mixing : Roger Defays
Photography : Virginia Leirens
Director of production : Baudouin Mussche and Pierre Cohen
Production : Films Henri Storck
Versions : French and Dutch
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