Bobbejaan

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Bobbejaan, the stage name of Modest Schoepen, played with Josephine Baker and Gilbert Bécaud. When he filled the Ancienne Belgique for a week in 1955, a guy named Jacques Brel was his warm-up act. The yodeling whistler with a penchant for country music was even popular in the States. He later founded his own amusement park in Lichtaart: Bobbejaanland. Songs like “Café zonder bier” and “’k Zie zo gere mijn duivenkot” have become part of Flemish heritage. But this documentary barely discusses them. Fascinating archival material is combined with unusually intimate and incredible moving images of the aged Bobbejaan who realises that his final hour has come. All beautiful songs come to an end. His son Tom Schoepen tries his hardest to ensure that they are still played as often as possible. By encouraging fine documentaries, for example. The unexpected heroine of the story is his mother. The amusement park was too much for him at the end, but the songs never were. Hats off.



BOBBEJAAN
BE, 2015, dir.: Benny Vandendriessche, 65 min.

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