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Fermeture de l’usine Renault à Vilvoorde

Jan Bucquoy

1999Belgium90 minColour

In February 1997, Louis Schweitzer, Renault’s thriving CEO, unilaterally decided on the irrevocable shut-down of the Renault factory in Vilvoorde, giving only three months’ notice. The Vilvoorde workers immediately walked out and voted to strike to the finish. And Jan Buc­quoy decided to step into the fray, supported by Nathalie Sartiaux, whose hand-held camera followed Bucquoy’s electrifying day-to-day meetings with the workers. From Belgium to France, the workers called for solidarity and tried to defend what, for them, was their whole life: their job. It was filmed trash, edited clash and, to our great delight, very often hits its target, as Bucquoy does not do things by halves. He goes straight to what is urgent, to today’s rage, to this crucial question: what can be done here and now to bring on the revolution? 
In a terrifying x-ray of a century’s twilight close, he hauls us around between spineless and reformist trade unions, sold-out and demagogical politicians, servile and robotic police force, and workers ready to do anything but never going as far as the radical act of saying no. To this refusal, this no, faced with the failure of the Renault Vilvoorde strike and the dreadful acceptance of defeat, Bucquoy gives meaning – that of the terrorism dear to Baader and other Action directe-style groups. 
–Philippe Simon, Cinergie.be, June 1998 

Jan Bucquoy, born in 1946 Harelbeke Belgium, is a post-surrealist and situationist artist. He is known as a stage director, graphic novel scenarist, film director and the author of numerous happenings.

  • PRODUCTION : Transatlantic films, De Smet films