De engel van Doel (An Angel in Doel)
The Belgian village of Doel has to make way for the advancing Antwerp port. The majority of the villagers have already moved and eventually only 75-year-old Emilienne Driesen refuses to leave. She ignores the eviction warrants; she wants to die where she has lived for so many years. At her kitchen table, the single woman receives her friends, as well as Father Verstraete. Every day, the fatally ill man still visits his parishioners, until his time has come. The last remaining squatters vainly protest against the vacancies and annexation. The village gradually becomes deteriorated and plastered. Emilienne watches it happen, but is powerless all by herself.
In black-and-white, De engel van Doel emphasises the tragedy and melancholy of Doel’s decline in the light of dogged Emilienne’s tilting at windmills. With wry humour, filmmaker Tom Fassaert depicts her, the priest, passing disaster tourists and the villagers who leave after all. In the process, he reduces the village’s deterioration, which has been going on for thirty years, to the universe of Emilienne’s kitchen table.