At the end of the summer of 1920 André Antoine filmed L'Hirondelle et la Mésange. The silent film was shot on two barges ("L' Hirondelle" and "La Mésange") traveling along the Scheldt between Antwerp and the French border, through Ghent's inner city. The story is a melodrama, shrouded in subtle naturalism, centered on smuggling by inland shipping and the reconstruction after the first world war.
The distributor refused to show the film in theaters. In 1982 the Cinémathèque Française found the negatives in their storage facilities and decided to return this piece of heritage to the public.
L'Hirondelle et la Mésange is André Antoine's cinematographic testament. It could have been an important milestone in 1920's French cinema, because Antoine chooses realism, refuses studio work, shoots with multiple cameras from all angles, and has his actors play their roles with, for the era, exceptional austerity.
On may 8th 2009 in the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Kris Defoort presented a unique event: a musical score for the silent film L'Hirondelle et la Mésange (1920) by André Antoine.
Our holiday studios were named after these two barges: l' Hirondelle et la Mésange, the Swallow and the Tit. With us, you can follow the journey of "L' Hirondelle et la Mésange", both virtually and real.