Misère au Borinage

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Fintan Brady
Directed by Henri Storck
Joris Ivens
Written by Henri Storck
Joris Ivens
Edited by Helen van Dongen
Release dates
Running time
36 minutes
Country Belgium
Language French, Dutch

Misère au Borinage is a 1933 Belgian documentary film directed by Henri Storck and Joris Ivens.

The film opens with these words: "Crisis in the Capitalist World. Factories are closed down, abandoned. Millions of proletarians are hungry!"

The Borinage is one of the most famous industrial regions of Wallonia (and of the classic industrial revolution in general) because of its history of hard and long social strikes, for instance, a two-month-long 1932 strike in this region, as well as Liège and Charleroi. It is considered one of the most important work of the Political cinema. "It is one of the most important references in the documentary genre." [1]

"The stridency of the work is exemplified by a short film Ivens made with Belgian cinema club leader Henri Storck (1933) portraying the cruel plunge into poverty resulting from a classic capitalist crisis of over production."[2]

For Philip Mosley, this film is linked to the history of Wallonia: "Matters worsened in 1956 with the Marcinelle disaster, whose victims included many immigrants, and then with release of initial closure plans for Walloon mines. In scene reminiscent of Storck's Borinage film of 1933, social unrest in the area near Mons escalated into general strike of 1960 and 1961."[3] Robert Stallaerts about Storck, one of the directors of Misère au Borinage, said, "Although a Fleming, he can be called the father of the Walloon cinema." [4]

In 2000, a new documentary was made about the Borinage as a tribute to Storck: "Les Enfants du Borinage - Lettre à Henri Storck".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Misery in Borinage
  2. ^ Patricia Aufderheide, Documentary film: a very short introduction, Oxford University Press, 2007, p.79. ISBN 978-0-19-518270-5
  3. ^ Philip Mosley Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and cultural Identity, Suny Press, New-York, 2001,p. 81. ISBN 0-7914-4747-2
  4. ^ Historical dictionary of Belgium Scarecrow press, 1999, p. 191. ISBN 0-8108-3603-3

External links[edit]