On December 2nd ‘Notes from Brussels’ will have its world premiere in Brussels’ Cinema Galeries where it will screen that same month. Nadine van Loon’s documentary debut follows three women and their drive to keep ahead in Brussels’ fast-paced institutions as they pursue their European dream. The film examines how the women hold their own in the ‘European Bubble’ and the price they pay for their ‘success’. A question that hits close to home for the director who used to work for the EU institutions herself but decided to leave this work-setting 10 years ago after a burn-out. In ‘Notes from Brussels’ she returns to Brussels 5 years later, retrained as a filmmaker and curious as to how the women adapt to maintain their trajectory careers.
NOTES FROM BRUSSELS
Filmed between 2017 and 2021 the documentary (79 minutes) interweaves three intimate portraits of women in different phases of their lives. We meet a young French political assistant in the European Parliament, a Polish trade journalist who moved to Brussels just two years after Poland joined the EU and a high-ranking German EU official who is 22 years into her career. Just like the filmmaker and narrator the women moved to Brussels in their twenties longing to contribute to Europe.
The film explores the dynamics in the ‘European bubble’ and the intense work rhythm shape and absorb the women. If you want to achieve something in this work-setting you have to give it your all. Gradually the director recognizes herself in the struggles of the women which in her case triggered her to go over the edge in sleepless nights. What are the consequences for their personal lives? How long can they suppress their other desires? Now that she has returned to Brussels as a mother of three boys the filmmaker subconciusly examines whether she made the right choice to leave this work environment behind her, whilst at the same time being well aware why she left. The women’s stories are set against the background of rising Euroscepticism in France; Poland drifting away from the European ideals; and the lingering EU migration crisis.
The world premiere will be followed by a discussion with the director and main characters moderated by the German Marshall Fund of the United States on the future of work.
Tickets for the December 2nd world premiere as well as for the subsequent screenings that month will be available as of 10 A.M on Thursday November 11th via: https://galeries.be/en/notes-from-brussels/
About filmmaker Nadine van Loon
Nadine van Loon (46, Dutch) started her career as a political assistant for a Dutch Member of the European Parliament (D66) after which she joined the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After several EU-related positions and an interim sabbatical as a journalist in Morocco, she decided to leave the diplomatic service in 2012. She followed her urge to explore through storytelling how the spirit of our times impacts people’s life choices. As a filmmaker she made several short films for museum exhibitions. ‘Notes from Brussels‘ will be her documentary debut. Nadine currently lives in The Hague.