Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Set at the beginning of the 14th century, this story about the revolution against French rule by a group of Flemish cities, based on a novel by Hendrik Conscience, was meant to portray the panorama of an epic moment in Flemish history. Philip the Fair (1268-1314), king of France and Navarre, was ultimately defeated in the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, and along the way to that defeat, subplots and interwoven events in this film tend to paint the protagonists in black or white, such as the wife of the French king, Joan the First of Navarre, shown as particularly murderous. Originally twice as long as its current running time of 108 minutes, the discontinuity and lack of character development in De Leeuw Van Vlaanderen might be due to the cutting block, but the exaggeration in making all the French vile, corrupt, unscrupulous, and brutal, and the Flemish innocent, brave, and virtuous is not due to editing alone.
corruption, history, revolution