The Belgian Seaports

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The Belgian Seaports 1900-1970. Price 19 €


Docks & Dockers is a compilation of thirteen films on the six Belgian seaports, as they were put on film by various directors during the past one hundred years. These films tell the story of a metamorphosis, not only of the harbours and ships, but of an entire society. The growth, the technology and a changing economical model have created a distance between the ports and the cities they were once attached to. The thirteen documents proposed here illustrate this metamorphosis. The individual history of the ports of Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Liège, Ostend and Zeebrugge is put in a broader perspective by Patrick Verhoeven.



Arrival by Boat | City Panorama Seen From a Boat
(Alexandre Promio, 1897, 1’57)
Two short films made by Alexander Promio for the Association Frères Lumière. They are among the oldest existing film images of the city of Antwerp.


Work in the Port of Antwerp
(Anonymous, 1925-1930, 17’43)
A compilation of images from four promotional films about the port of Antwerp. This historical material shows not only the numerous docks and locks, but also port monuments and professions that have disappeared.


Compagnie Maritime Belge Lloyd Royal. The Link Between Belgium and the Colonies
(Anonymous, 1920’s, 11’22)
Established by encouragement of King Leopold II, the Compagnie Maritime Belge takes care of a regular connection between Belgium and the Congo.


Brussels Seaport
(Anonymous, ca. 1922, 2’44)
On the occasion of the inauguration of the canal and new harbour of Brussels, great festivities take place. The Italian destroyer San Martino fires an honorary salvo. Music Hughes Maréchal.


The Port of Ghent
(G. Pieters, 1937, 10’55)
A network of rivers, canals and railways assures the connection between the industrial port of Ghent and the European hinterland. Thanks to its modern infrastructure, the port is capable of handling a great diversity of goods.


West Flanders Newsreels
(Jean-Marie Pylyser, 1982 – 1984, 4’50)
Two newsreels on the progress of the expansion works in the port of Zeebrugge in the 80s and the official opening of the new Pierre Vandamme lock in 1984, in the presence of ministers and officials.


Yser Newsreel
(Anonymous, 1919, 3’40)
In Ostend the Royal Family goes on board of the American destroyer USS Ingraham. In open sea they change ships and embark on the war vessel ‘George Washington’, which will bring them to New York. Music Hughes Maréchal.


Life Doesn’t Stop
(Paul Pichonnier, 1939, 3’50)
To reassure the passengers of the line Ostend Dover in times of war threat, a promotional film was ordered to Paul Pichonnier on how the crew on board gives absolute priority to the safety of the passengers.


A Century of Crossings
(Gaston Vernaillen, 1946, 15’10)
Documentary film made by Gaston Vernaillen which offers a retrospective view on a century of crossings between Ostende and Dover. The history of the line is illustrated by paintings, scale models and old drawings.


Loading Boats
(J.-M. Remouchamps, 1928 & 1933, 2’23)
Report made for the Musée de la Vie Wallonne showing women loading coal barges in the harbour of Liège in the twenties and thirties. Music Hughes Maréchal.


The Albert Canal
(Charles Dekeukeleire, 1937, 5’30)
Charles Dekeukeleire made this short documentary during the construction works of the Albert Canal, which is to connect the industrial basin of Liège with the port of Antwerp.


Duel with the Tanker
(Armand Van Coppenolle, 1964, 20’25)
Pilot Lievens has to guide a badly steering tanker with a dangerous cargo safely to Antwerp. Docu-fiction based on a novel by Libera Carlier.


Gates of the Nation
(Henri Storck, 1954, 16’32)
Promotional film for the Belgian ports by Henri Storck, based on the book The Belgians and the Sea by Henry De Vos and Charles Bronne. The film emphasises the importance of the ports for the country’s economy.



Buying a DVD


DVDs can be bought at the Fonds Henri Storck 17 €

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23 € (19 € + 4 € shipping costs Belgium)
27 € (19 € +8 € shipping costs overseas and abroard)

Transfer the exact amount (see our catalogue below) on the following account, please do not forget to mention your address details and the DVD title(s) by using keywords.
Fonds Henri Storck
avenue de l’art 19F
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IBAN BE28 2100 6792 5920

The package should arrive within 2 weeks


Technical info


Length 101′
Languages Dutch, French
Subtitles & navigation English, Dutch, French
Regio code PAL (all regions)