Synopsis: In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the petite bourgeoisie in oppressing workers. He writes a few columns for the Catholic paper, and soon workers are listening and the powerful are in an uproar. He's expelled from the Catholic party, so he starts the Christian Democrats and is elected to Parliament. After Rome disciplines him, he must choose between two callings, as priest and as champion of workers. In subplots, a courageous young woman falls in love with a socialist and survives a shop foreman's rape; children die; prelates play billiards.
Director(s): Stijn Coninx
Production: Favourite Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination.
138 min

Aalst, Belgium - end 19th century

Pick up those bobbins!

Put that basket away!

Watch out!

What's this?

Go on, pick it up.

Pick that up!

Work, or I don't need you.

Get out, son of a bitch!

And you, 20 centimes fine!

I didn't do anything!

Professor Daens,

is it true that you want to leave

the college of Dendermonde?

I've had nine beautiful years,

Monseigneur. That's enough.

You've had nine years of troubles

with everybody.

Them with me, maybe.

I won't deny that.


now I want to go to Aalst.

I have a spot as a junior priest

in Drongen.

You're expected there tomorrow.

You know very well that I've had

real problems in Drongen.

and indeed, with everybody.

- I remember, because you still have.

I don't think I'm welcome there.

You can hold your own.

And you're a difficult man.

Shouldn't you consider in peace

what you actually want?

You're not happy anywhere!

You're right, Monseigneur. That's

why I'm leaving for Aalst tomorrow.

If you really need me,

you can find me there.

Please, Lord,

free us from Daens.

In the name of the father,

Son and Holy Ghost. Amen!

May St. Ursula protect our factory

in these troubled times.

Hail Mary, Mother of God.

Lord be with you,

blessed above all women

and blessed is your Son Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us, now and forever. Amen.

Go away, there! Get out!

There, there are more!

There's Nini!

Those coals are ours. Get out!

You don't need coals.

Aalst!.... Two-minute stop!

Two-minute stop.

And? Where are these socialists?

All this panic for nothing!

Well, well! Father Daens!

Adolf...What a surprise!

- Am I not welcome?

Or is Aalst yours only now?

- No, no.

But the bishop did not inform us

Where do I send this, Father?

-to my brother's, printer Daens.

Read "Forwards"!

The socialist paper!

Read "Forwards"!

The socialist paper!

Please sirs, for you it's free!

Don't hit me!

According to Belgian law, I can...

-I'm the law here

you can nothing. Back to Ghent!

Guys, dirty Lisette has potatoes.


Gee, what a potato.

-My potatoes!

There's another fat one.


Let's go, fellows. Run!

My potatoes, thieves!

Bunch of bastards!

What are you doing?

This is no cemetery or dunghill.

Why are you bringing this here?

-Throw them away at your place.

Throw it away!

I'm fed up with the child.

Look there!

Father, do you agree with him?

Dumping his corpses here.

What can I do with it?

It's not up to me to bury her.

Besides, I need my cart.

I've got work to do.

What happened?

-Frozen to death, Father. Feel it.

It's the same every day.

Farmers find them and bring them

here instead of burying them.

Does anybody know her?

Everyone knows her, Father.

Nini, with the wet cherry.

So, potato-thief, maybe you also

know where her parents are?

Yes, over there somewhere.

Around the corner, under the bar.

Whose arse is this.

Whose arse is that.

Whose arse may this well be.

But man, this is the coal bag.

That coal bag belongs to me...

Fellows, they've released a crow!

Cover your bum, your man is here!

Gust! That's a priest!

Doesn't have to look for favours

around here. Do you Father,

or are you looking for the devil?

I'm looking for Nini's parents.

-Hot Nini, with the wet cherry?


Over there, Father.

Listen, if you're here

to lecture us, don't bother!

And certainly not about that whore.

It's everyone for himself here

And our poor-box is empty.


do you know what happened to her?

Did you see her?

-She's banged up.

We know. And leave my man alone.

None of your business!


- This is the one.

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Fernand Auwera

Ferdinand Van der Auwera (26 November 1929 in Antwerp - 27 October 2015), pseudonym Fernand Auwera is a Belgian writer. His fragile health during his youth and its impact on his life (solitude), had an effect on his first literary work. He started his career as a civil servant and worked for the journal Volkskrant and the literary magazine Dietsche Warande en Belfort. He made his literary debut with the psychological novel De weddenschap (E: The bet) in (1963). Later he made the statement that he wrote as a therapy, such as with Zelfportret met gesloten ogen (E: Self-portrait with closed eyes) (1973) and Uit het raam springen moet als nutteloos worden beschouwd (E: Jumping out of the window must be considered useless) (1983), which was made into a movie Springen. In Schrijven of schieten (E: Writing or shooting) (1969) and Geen daden maar woorden (E: No deeds but words) (1970), he published several interviews with fellow writers. In addition he wrote some books for children and literary essays. He contributed to the screenplays of the movies De Witte van Sichem (1980) after Ernest Claes and Lijmen/Het Been (2000) after Willem Elsschot. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Daens" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Jan. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/daens_6229>.

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