REINHOUD, my sculptor

Blaise D'Haese


a documentary film by Blaise D'Haese, in co-production with RTBF and VRT-Canvas

Blaise D’haese lost his father, Flemish sculptor Reinhoud, a few years ago. He filmed him in the intimacy of the two last years of his life when he was already in bad health. His father was already 54 at the time of his birth, so when he dies, Blaise has the impression that he does not know his father well at all. For that reason, he decides to set out on a quest.

Is it possible to get to know someone after his death? How to describe one’s father, family and self? And how does one present a work of art in a film? These are the issues the documentary presents us with. As the son sets out to cover the footsteps of his father, he seeks to find a link between his artistic adventures and private life.

The film has the significance of an art memoire, the one that resulted from the movement sculptor Reinhoud belonged to, known as Cobra and one of the last major avant-garde, post-war artistic movements, taking from expressionism and primitive folk art. It is an ideal opportunity to meet the last of its surviving protagonists: painters Corneille and certainly Pierre Alechinsky, Reinhoud’s best friend with whom he shared a studio for more than 10 years.

It is also a brief history of Belgium. The maker asks questions about the links his father had with his family and native country, which he left at the age of 30 and which he never really spoke to him about. He discovers a Flemish family and its secrets.

With humour, the maker presents a whole range of characters beyond the norm, be they artists or the women in his father’s life. Parallel to these flesh-and-blood portraits, he also shows his father’s metal sculptures and how he sees them personally: as other characters, completely separate from it all, as if they were play mates. These were the brothers and sisters who filled the house in his youth.
Beyond his quest for a departed father, the maker approaches art through a private eye. He offers us a rare testimony about the life of an artist, as it is seen from the insi