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Director Stijn Coninx: “I didn’t Shoot, about the Gang of Nivelles, made for the victims’

Or I with him baron should appeal? Come on, laughs Stijn Coninx. The amiable Person wearing that title since Daens, his magnum opus. In October comes from him Not Shooting, a film about the Gang Of Nivelles. ‘That is at least as good as Daens’, it sounds in conversation with The Sunday.

Stijn Coninx at the premiere of Marina © Isopix

This summer will mean for him a period of relaxation after the crazy months. For the first time in his life was Stijn Coninx (61) with two films at a time, which is also the same month: don’t Shoot, and Sinterklaas and the Wakeful Nights. “Definitely, that first one has me completely sucked, emotionally. I had a need to relaxation.

All that doesn’t mean that I want my work released. This summer is a nice period to think about a next project. In my suitcase is already the new book about till Eulenspiegel from the German author Daniel Kehlman.’ The story about the trickster from Damme let Coninx not loose. For years, decades even, is his dream of the ultimate movie about Eulenspiegel. “That story is more than a story about one man, it is a philosophy of life. All the major themes are therein, especially in the version of Charles De Coster: humor, tragedy, injustice, love, and nature. I think also, that the story slowly really understand.’

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If something is unjust it feels, I want to do something. I find it extremely important that people who have good, caring for people who have more difficulty.

Injustice, but also social compassion, are themes that often the movies of Stijn Coninx dominate. Or better: that his life dominate. The director is the chairman of the streekfonds ‘A Heart for Limburg’, and committed the last years also for the Deaf Devils, deaf devils say. ‘If something is unjust it feels, I want to do something. I find it extremely important that people who have good, caring for people who have more difficulty. We are all connected to each other.’

“The filmmaker in me often want to do something with that outrage’, it sounds. So also in his latest picture. “I didn’t Shoot made for the victims, this is their cry for help. I go the mystery of the Gang of Nijvel not resolve, let that be clear. Note: this can be solved. If I have time, I would have went to law school. And then I would fix it.”

‘Don’t Shoot is even more intense than Daens’

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Daens was definitely my main movie, but I don’t think that’s necessarily my best film

Daens is often Coninx’ magnum opus called. “That was definitely my main movie”, reflects the director. “But I don’t think that’s necessarily my best film. I think that I as a director have grown am the past 25 years. I take more into their own hands. If I fail, will I have failed. Marina, for example: there was my personality all the way. I think the fact that don’t Shoot at least as good as Daens. I find the story even more intense.’

After Daens, he was baron struck by former king Baudouin. ‘That feels a little unreal. But I’m not thinking about it. Titles tell me little. Naturally I am against hierarchy. For my students, I am also just Stijn. One of my daughters has that also, but in extreme form: she speaks in the same way to her teachers and to her friends. I’m on that plane something diplomatischer. I would Boudewijn don’t like, with Boudje (laughs).’

Paul Cobbaert

Read the full interview with Stijn Coninx in The Sunday.

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