Misère au Borinage (1933)

In 1933 leftist film maker and founder of experimental cinema in Belgium, Henri Storck (1907-1999) makes a documentary on life in Belgium’s dead poor mining region, Borinage (in the Charleroi region). Its subject as well as its style shook the world and Misery in the Borinage became a landmark in documentary film making. Later on, its mixture of documentary, newsreel footage and re-enacted scenes was coined neo-realist. The film echoes Bunuels Las Hurdes (1933), Eisensteins montage films.

In the late thirties, Storck made two more documentaries in the same strand: Les maisons de la misère (Houses of Misery, 1937) and Le patron est mort (The Boss is Dead, 1938).