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1896, Paris Nord. Nagelmackers creates the "Nord Express" between Paris and St Petersburg. Crossing the continent in 48 hours is a new challenge for inter-European communications. A challenge continuously met, despite two world wars, blue pencil marks on military maps, a wall dividing a city in two...
1990, the film "Nord Express" recreates the 47 hours journey from Paris to Moscow. The time - our own - is one of great upheaval, filled with the noise of machinery. In Paris, railwaymen are laying the new TGV lines; in Berlin, the wall is crumbling; at Brest (USSR) the team is replacing the standard gauge bogies with wide gauge bogies. Galina, the Soviet sleepingcar attendant, is making tea. In the corridor, Theodore the student is looking out of the window, just above the curtain. A blast on the train's whistle. In front of painter Ben WARGIN's workshop, the wagons rush past at top speed. "Personally, I don't think we'll ever manage to go any faster", says Ben.
Rob ROMBOUT, Christian JANSSENS
Olivier STRUVE, Paul HEYMANS
Paradise Films, Triangle 7, RTBF, CAC-CICV Montbéliard, WIP
1990 Manifestation internationale de vidéo et de télévision de Montbéliard - Worldwide Video Festival du Kijkhuis, La Haye - Vidéos du réel, Saint-Gervais - Videofest 91, Berlin