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Het sacrament (1989) Online

Het sacrament (1989) Online
Original Title :
Het sacrament
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Hugo Claus
Cast :
Ann Petersen,Carl Ridders,Jan Decleir
Writer :
Hugo Claus
Type :
Time :
1h 30min
Rating :
Het sacrament (1989) Online

The Heylen family's annual get-together to commemorate their mother derails completely.
Credited cast:
Ann Petersen Ann Petersen - Natalie
Carl Ridders Carl Ridders - Claude
Jan Decleir Jan Decleir - Albert
Hugo Van Den Berghe Hugo Van Den Berghe - Antoine
An De Donder An De Donder - Jeanne
Marc Didden Marc Didden - Gigi
Chris Lomme Chris Lomme - Lotte
Brit Alen Brit Alen - Tilly
Linda Schagen Van Leeuwen Linda Schagen Van Leeuwen - Lutje
Blanka Heirman Blanka Heirman - Taatje
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Koen Crucke Koen Crucke

User reviews

Wild Python

Wild Python

I saw this movie several times. It depicts exactly what happens in a suburban village years ago. Priests were notables,almost God. Then the curtain falls. The family gathers and slowly we get to know their history and facts. Sublimely casted and acted. After all the priest is human too. Keeping up appearances could have been a working title. Claus digs deep and deeper. Excellent work from the actors. The scene when everybody gets drunk and when Carl Ridders decides to end this hypocrisy is worth waiting and watching. One of the best movies of a contemporary writer/director/artist.


Hugo Claus is probably the most respected Belgian novelist ever and the man did it a bit of everything, and so he also is a director with "De Leeuw Van Vlaanderen" and "Vrijdag" being his most popular ones. For those who know Claus, they might know that for Claus nothing is holy, even not the Catholic church. The movie is based on his own novel "Omtrent Deedee" that tells the story of a priest Deedee who is among his believers a well respected Christian man but once he's among his own four walls he's facing the problems every human being is. "Het sacrament" tells the story of 24 hour as Deedee organises a yearly familyreunion and every personage has his own typical problems. A man who must obey his dominant wife every second, a woman who wants to jump in bed with every man she sees, a woman who believes so much in God that it becomes a pathetic, a man who must borrow his sister to give him a proper coat, you name it and you'll find in "Het sacrament". But all by all it's not such a good picture as the movie is a bit too much like a theatreplay and tons of good actions are spoiled by the neurotic Claude (played by Carl Ridders, a man who is overaécting so much it is annoying) even if that character is a bit the red line in the whole story. For the rest of the acting you see nothing but topquality with Frank Aedenboom (why is this man only to see in a terrible soap these days?) and Jan Decleir as the Robert DeNiro's of Belgium...


I guess there isn't a Belgian who could claim that he has never heard of Hugo Claus before. As a director he isn't very famous of course, but as a novelist he sure is one of the best Belgium has ever had. Almost every year we are told that Claus might win a Nobel Price for Literature. So far it has never happened, but who knows... With his pen sharper than a knife, not sparing anyone or anything (and certainly not the hypocrisy of the Catholic church), he sure deserves it.

"Het Sacrament" tells the story of a family reunion in the fifties. When it's the birthday of the maid of the priest of a small town in the North West of Belgium, he allows her to invite all her relatives in his house. But like in every family there are some problems. The bossy and depressed wife of one of the brothers is not accepted by the group, her son has been in a mental asylum and is clearly gay (still seen as a great sin at that time), one of the sisters once had an affair while being married and probably still has... The only person that seems to be pure and honest is Deedee, the priest, but as the movie progresses, he too appears to be of flesh and blood and not exactly blameless...

There can be no doubt about the fact that this was one of the finest casts that could ever play in a Flemish movie (A movie from the Dutch part of Belgium). With people like Ann Petersen, Frank Aendenboom, Jan Decleir, ... you can be certain of some very fine performances. But not only the acting is good, so is the story. It takes the time to develop itself, the characters and the situations are recognizable (especially for the Flemish viewers, but probably also for others) and Claus hasn't tried to make certain situations look nicer (I can't exactly tell you what I mean, but it has something to do with the priest Dee Dee at the end of the movie - just watch the movie and you'll know what I mean)... These things really make this movie worth watching. But not everything about it is perfect. The biggest problem that I had with the movie was the performance by Carl Ridders, playing Claude. His style just didn't completely fit in this movie. While the other performances are sober, his performance is a bit over the top. I wouldn't call it overacting, but it just doesn't seem right in this movie. Still, don't let that be a reason not to watch this movie.

Especially when you aren't familiar with the work of Hugo Claus, this movie might be very interesting to watch. Personally I still like his books more than his movies. He did a good job with this movie, but in my opinion he should stick to writing the novels and leaving the directing of the movies to someone else. It's not because you are excellent in one artistic field, that you will automatically be excellent in other fields as well. What he did was OK, but a professional director might have made it exceptional. I give this movie a 6.5/10.