Flanders tells the story of a group of young men, including local farmer Demester who go to fight in an unnamed war with brutal consequences. Juxtaposing rural images of their home village against the often savage and unrelenting landscape of war, the film charts familiar Dumont territory by offering a unique vision against a backdrop of an unconventional love story between Demester and his fragile sometime girlfriend Barbe.
"Soldier Soldier" it ain't!
- Flanders review by Kurtz
Unremittingly glum tale of a glum French farmer and his glum mates who glumly go off to fight in an unnamed war (probably one of the Gulf conflicts, judging by the burning oil wells on the skyline.) Here they don’t encounter the enemy but manage to lose their commanding officer and then embark on an ill-advised revenge mission that royally hacks off the locals. The survivors end up back on their glum French farms, where they continue to be glum. Director Dumont says he prefers to work with non-professional actors, and his direction to these people is “do nothing” so all the script is delivered in a flat monotone and no-one ever reacts to what’s going on. Very hard to like.