We Will Remember Them

Annabel Verbeke
Ever since 1919, the daily life in Ypres, capital of Flanders Fields, has been dedicated to commemorating the First World War. On her journey through this landscape of remembrance, filmmaker Annabel Verbeke encounters the most diverse and sometimes contradictory ways of commemorating.

By the end of WWI, Ypres and its surroundings were completely wiped off the map. Thanks to German reparations money, Ypres would rise from its dust and rubble as a symbol of rebirth amidst the numerous graveyards replete with fallen soldiers. 
The Last Post has resounded every evening ever since 1928, and Ypres became a centre to commemorate the First World War, the fallen soldiers, reflect about war and peace.
At the same time, Ypres is welcoming more tourists year after year, engaging a whole tourist industry, which does rise the question if Ypres itself not become the victim of its own success? Has it not morphed into some kind of ‘Remembrance Disneyland’, trampled on and groped by the roving feet and hands of the droves of remembrance tourists? 
The film wanders around the thin line between serene commemoration and the remembrance industrialisation. We Will Remember Them is a poetic interpretation of the everyday dynamics generated by Great War remembrance in and around Ypres.

Grâce à la rigueur de son cadre, la durée juste des plans qui le composent, We Will Remember Them offre une méditation parfois mordante sur la manière dont les hommes transforment la mémoire de "l'Histoire avec sa grande hache" en parc d'attraction touristique. - Film-Documentair.fr

Mooi en tegelijk bevreemdend - Trouw

About the director

Annabel Verbeke (1987, Belgium) graduated Cum Laude at RITCS Film School in Brussels in 2010. Her graduation film “Les enfants de la mer/mère” won 8 international awards and was selected by more than 20 international film festivals. Her first feature length documentary “We will remember them”, was closing film of Visions du Réel 2019 and the most viewed documentary on Belgian broadcaster VRT-Canvas. Annabel likes to explore humanity in her work, telling strong and relevant stories from individual characters, stories that reflect on ourselves and the society were living in. Annabel is interested in strong and personal stories facing different challenges in their search for work. Stories that make blow some fresh air in the current social debate.
Currently Annabel Verbeke is directing an episode of the Borderline series and coordinating director of the project T(w)o Work.


written & directed by
Annabel Verbeke

Director of photography
Thomas Szacka-Marier
Tiele Mulier
Lieven Decapmaker

edited by
Anna Savchenko

sound edit
Pieter Deweirdt

sound Mix
Gedeon Depauw

Awards & festivals

Official selection
Vision du Réel, 2019 - Closing film

Official selection
Byron Bay International Film Festival, 2019

Official selection
Dumbo International Film Festival, 2019

Official selection
Buenos Aires International Film Festival, 2020

Best watched documentary film in 2019 on Belgian broadcaster VRT-Canvas

Nominated for the Ensor Best Feature length Documentary 2019

Production Details

an Off World production

in coproduction with

with the support from
Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF|Film)
the Belgian Federal Government Tax Shelter