11 December 2014 | thienpont
Extremely well made and universally charming
What can I say? This 'no budget' movie is witty, moving, funny, full of love, at times thrilling and displays plenty of young, as well as older acting talent. I was so lucky to witness the open air viewing at the very spot of the allotments, where the film was partly made. "The Virgin of Ghent" tells the story of several people of Ghent who each in turn benefit from the preservation of the soul of Ghent: the allotments. The leading role is played by a progressive priest who hands out fresh soup to the homeless thanks to the vegetables he harvests from the allotment gardens. His mission threatens to halt abruptly when the mayor is put under pressure by the French retail giant Colfour to sell the 'soul' of Ghent. Although a few characters are played by local heroes (the real mayor of Ghent plays the judge!), this film is far from vernacular but tells a universal story. Nicolaas Rahoens ("My Donna", "Tata") made this picture in only 52 days whereas the professionals worked for free and over 300 extras contributed to deliver a professional result.