Magnum Begynasium Bruxellense presents itself as a living chronicle of the inhabitants of the Béguinage neighbourhood in Brussels, an old, poor neighbourhood, stuck between the old docks of the port and the main shopping avenues of the centre. In spite of recent plans for renovation, its existence is threatened sooner or later.
Designed as an encyclopaedic inventory, the film is made up of thirty something chapters, overlapping one another like so many pieces of a puzzle. The film unrolls in the space and cracks of a day, beginning at dawn to finish at night.
+ 40 pages booklet edited by Yellow Now
with texts from Henri Storck, Chantal Akerman, Serge Daney, Louis Marcorelles, Jacqueline Aubenas, Serge Meurant & Roméo Carlès.
“Boris Lehman, a friend of Chantal Akerman’s, readily defines himself as an experimental filmmaker. He says that he occasionally uses cinema as a therapeutic tool in the Antonin Artaud Club, a rehabilitation center for the mentally ill, where he works. The reference, more than the modern documentary, is the collage – the juxtaposition of around thirty autonomous chapters, organised around a poor neighbourhood in Brussels and taking place over a day or so. Boris Lehman has collected microscopic observations, comical details, and sought atmospheres. He speaks as an entomologist of a familiar world reduced to a series of small touches, furtive impressions. The author, the filmmaker paradoxically becomes the center of the world: perhaps his lm should be read as a kind of journal.”
-Louis Marcorelles LE MOND