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THE WALL

Belgium / France, 1998 (MIFF 1999, 2000 seen by...)

Director: Alain Berliner

In Belgium, the North and South have traditionally been in conflict. Albert, a Belgian in his mid 30s runs a hot chips stand that straddles the border between the two communities. When he hands his customers their chips he is in Flanders, but when he submerges a fresh batch in the sizzling cooking oil he is on the French speaking side of Brussels. With each order Albert also delivers an enigmatic, fortune-cookie type message and on the cusp on the new millennium, many people have lined up at his counter to get a hint of what the future will bring.

On the morning of December 31. 1999, Albert arrives at work to see a horrifying and bizarre sight. During the night his stand has been cut in two by an enormous wall ihat now marks the linguistic border between the Flemish and the Francophones! Alain Berliner's marvellous and mystifying film is brought to life with a glorious outlook reminiscent of Latin American magic realism. A glimpse of everyday people seeing the manifestation of a concept before their eyes and finding a method of dealing with the surreal.

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