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Mud, trenches and a propaganda film on the Yser Front

11/11/2019

Soldiers digging muddy trenches on the Yser Front: is this what comes to mind when you think of the Armistice? This could well be because of this propaganda film from 1928. Created using excerpts from other films, this collage was shown until 1940 to raise funds to rebuild the Yser Tower.

This clip is part of the longer propaganda film ‘Met Onze Jongens aan den IJzer’ (With Our Troops on the Yser), made by Clemens De Landtsheer for the Yser Pilgrimage Committee – a film first screened in 1928 with accompanying music which toured until 1940.

Several copies of the film were donated to ADVN, the Archive for National Movements. De Landtsheer sold his film collection to the then BRT (now VRT) in the 1970s. And tapes have also been kept by Cinematek, the Royal Belgian Film Archive, since 1978. In the 2000s, these three organisations collaborated with Ghent University to research De Landtsheer’s filmography. The restored film was released on DVD in 2008, and an excerpt was also submitted for the Beeldcapsule (Image Capsule).

Want to delve deeper into the First World War? Visit nieuwsvandegrooteoorlog.hetarchief.be/en.

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