Belgium | drive-through

Belgium | September 1, 2010

The Washington Post calls it a Belgian family drama and the Hollywood Report a bawdy, heartfelt glimpse into a proudly dysfunctional Belgium family. No, we’re not reviewing the current political crisis in Belgium, but quote reactions on The Misfortunates, a movie by Belgian director Felix van Groeningen, based on a novel by Dimitri Verhulst. Driving recently by train through the Flemish countryside, we were reminded about the analysis of Gunther Strobbe, the main character in the movie.

No vehicle gives you a more honest impression of a country than a train. Look at our gardens, our pigeon lofts, our sheds. See our underwear drying on the line. Look at our garden gnomes, our celery, our leeks, our verandas and our brick barbecues. See how the cows gradually make way for brick monsters, built with the bank’s approval and without any taste plumped down in the Flemish countryside.

More snapshots from Flemish trainstations and landscapes (February 2010); from Brussels (2008-2010); and from last September down here.

Belgium | September 1, 2010

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