Located 160 km from Luxembourg-City, Namur (or Namen in Dutch) is the capital of the province of Namur, as well as of the French-speaking region Wallonia, home the Walloon Parliament.
One of the Namur’s highlights has to be its fortress, overlooking the old town and dating from the Roman era. Serving as a command centre of an important earldom in the Middle Ages, the citadel was then coveted and besieged by all the great powers of Europe between the 15th and 19th century. From 1891, it was transformed into a huge park, a real green lung overlooking the capital of Wallonia.
Today, the citadel is open to visitors all year-round, with guided tours on offer in French, English and Dutch. Don’t forget to greet the turtle master – a giant sculpture of a turtle standing on the Citadel. This work of art, ‘Searching for Utopia’, was designed by the Belgian artist Jan Fabre.
If you are lucky, (highly recommended to plan your trip) when visiting Namur, you will get the chance to see the unique ‘stilt walkers of Namur’. They are one of the oldest stilt walker groups in the world. Several stilt fights take place during the year, notably around major celebrations such as Easter or Christmas, but also in September. One of the fights is between ”Avresses” – walkers from the New City with the red and white coloured stilts and the ”Melans” – walkers from the Old City with yellow and black stilts. During these fight, the walkers aim to get their competitors down to the ground with their stilts. The losing team has no walker standing on his stilt. On the day of my trip, it was the ”Melans” who won the fight, gathering the crowds of tourists around them, eager to take perfect snapshots of these walkers.
Romanian film ”Child’s Pose” directed by Calin Peter Netzer and starring the great Luminita Gheorghiu, Florin Zamfirescu, Ilinca Goia amongst many other talented artists, won the most important prize at this year’s International Francophone Film Festival in Namur, Belgium.
Already awarded the Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, the film ”Child’s Pose” received yet again another important recognition for its contribution to the world of international cinema.
Critically acclaimed, The ”Child’s Pose” is a contemporary drama focusing on the relationship between a mother and her 32-year-old son. After the accidental killing of a boy in a car crash, the mother tries to prevent her son being charged for the death, and she refuses to accept that her son is a grown-up man.
On Indie Wire Patrick Gamble from Cinevue used B+ in rating the film and described it as: ”A suffocating and overbearing drama, Child’s Pose cuts to the bare bone of maternal love. Yet despite Netzer’s harsh and clinical approach, his gentle use of humour and the most sincerest of intentions create a deeply compassionate film about the emotionally crippling effects of loss – and an enlightening examination of contemporary Romanian society.”
Protagonist Luminita Gheorghiu who plays the role of the mother has also proved an exceptional talent and skill in the ”Child’s Pose” for which she was awarded the Best Actress Prize both at Berlin’s International Film Festival and at the International Francophone Film Festival in Namur, Belgium. This is a distinction that only a handful of actors and actresses manage to achieve throughout their career and comes at a perfect timing for Gheorghiu who had spent decades working in the Romanian theater and cinema world.
Hollywood Reporter stated that ”Luminita Gheorghiu shines as a controlling mother who goes into overdrive when her adult son runs over a child.” Critics went on to say that ”More than anything else, it is Gheorghiu’s un-self-conscious, realistic character study of the emotional tyrant Cornelia that keeps the engine running on a compactly written drama.”
Also referring to the screenplay by Razvan Radulescu and director Calin Peter Netzer, The Hollywood Reporter considered it to be ”admirably handled, with wicked moments of humor balancing out a truly dramatic finale.”
Soon to be shown in Luxembourg, as part of the official competition line-up of the CinEast Central and Eastern European Film Festival, I am truly looking forward to watching yet another great production that comes to maintain and reconfirm the quality of the Romanian cinema produced in the most recent years. Besides that, Ilinca Goia who stars in the film will attend the official screening and will therefore be answering questions posed by the audience.
The ”Child’s Pose” has also been selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.
Have you watched the film yet? Woudl you rate it or slate it?
Have you heard about the film before? Have you considered watching the ”Child’s Pose” before reading this little article?