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The nation on and beyond the screen: A history of film and nation‐building in Flanders

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Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, Volume 27, Issue 3, Page 816-830, July 2021. ", "\nAbstract\nMost research on the relationship between film and nation‐building focuses on the content of films (the nation on the screen). Much less common is research on the structural organisation of the film sector (the nation beyond the screen). This article argues for a combined focus in order to gain deeper insight into the relationship between film and nation‐building. This is illustrated by a case study focusing on Flanders. The Flemish case shows that the relationship between film and nation‐building is dynamic and multiple. There is a clear evolution from a Belgian, French‐speaking film sector to a separate Flemish film sector. This process was stimulated by the coming of sound film in the early 1930s and by political developments towards more Flemish autonomy. But while Flemish nation‐building keeps growing to this day, the concept of ‘Belgian cinema’ has gained renewed relevance since the 2000s.\n"]