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THE FRAIL FLOWERS ARE DISAPPEARING

Belgium, 1961 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Paul Meyer

A study of the social conditions of a coal-mining area in Belgium during a lean period, Many miners have been forced to leave the area, and to replace ihemr men have been imported from poor Furopean countries; even the remaining workers - Belgians, Italians, Greeks, Poles, Russians — have their daily existence threatened by the encroachment of modem industry into the mines. The film shows one day in the life of a foreign worker — an Italian who has sent for bis family . . . The younger children discover school . . the more mature boy has a little romance . . . and always in the back­ground. the threat of unemployment. This is a remarkable film, made on actual location. Few words are spoken, and these mostly in the native tongues of the workers. An absorbing, unsentimental view of the workers is built out of simple incidents of the daily routine. An authentic work, without sensational narra­tive and without compromise — one produced with great compassion.

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