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Abstract

In his article "Conscience's De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (The Lion of Flanders) and Its Adaptation to Film by Claus" Gertjan Willems discusses Hugo Claus's 1984 filmic adaptation of Hendrik Conscience's 1838 historical novel, a landmark in the history of the Flemish Movement. Willems's analysis is executed by means of a textual film analysis and archival research. Willems pays special attention to the Flemish-Dutch coproduction's complex relations with the national question. Despite various difficulties concerning Flemish nationalist sensitivities of the project, the producers wanted the film to be as faithful as possible to Conscience's novel. This resulted in an overtly romantic and Flemish nationalist production despite some counterpoints introduced by the controversial and critical director Claus. Although De Leeuw van Vlaanderen was the most expensive production in Belgium's film history, it turned out to be an unprecedented critical and commercial failure.