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The Cinema of the Dardenne BrothersResponsible Realism$
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Philip Mosley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163293

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163293.001.0001

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The Video Documentaries, 1974–83

The Video Documentaries, 1974–83

(p.39) Chapter Three The Video Documentaries, 1974–83
The Cinema of the Dardenne Brothers

Philip Mosley

Columbia University Press

This chapter describes the Dardenne brothers' documentaries from 1974–83. Their first achievement was a series of grant-aided “interventionist” films, Au commencement était la résistance (In the Beginning Was the Resistance), investigating the history and conditions of working-class life in and around Liège. These films were followed by The Nightingale's Song (1978); When Leon M.'s Boat First Sailed Down the River Meuse (1979); For the War to End, the Walls Had to Crumble [The Paper] (1980); R ... No Longer Answers (1981); Lessons from a University on the Fly (1982); and their final documentary Look at Jonathan (1983). Throughout their documentary career the Dardennes have striven to be respectful of the integrity of their interlocutors' narratives of war, revolutionary politics, refuge, exile and artistic crisis. By inserting themselves into their documentaries the brothers avoid becoming inscrutable and privileged authorities lurking beyond the frame.

Keywords:   Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, narratives of war, revolutionary politics, refuge, exhile

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