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The River People - Xavier Istasse - Belgium

River people


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Interview with Xavier Istasse

The River People (Les Gens du fleuve, 2012)

Director: Xavier Istasse


It is the oldest river in the world and one of the main ones in Europe. Starting in France, crossing a great part of Belgium and flowing through the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea, the Meuse has been part of the life of thousands of people by its bank. Welcome on board a trip to meet them in The River People.

Directed by the Belgium director Xavier Istasse, The River People is a documentary telling the story of lives that have been marked by the Meuse. Starting in Belgium and ending in the border with France, Istasse sails on an adventure to reveal the importance and influence that the river had in the past, and the romanticism around it nowadays.

Through interviews with locals who live by the Meuse's bank and foreign tourists who enjoy its currents viewers are bestowed with stunning shots of the river in both summer and winter, and a unique compilation of footage dating back from as early as the 1920s. This dazzling tour also sheds light on the forgotten past of many villages - especially Namur, Wallonia's capital, which used to be destination to rich and noble European families during the holidays season in luxurious hotels now left to oblivion.

Eurochannel welcomes you sail across the river that has shaped the history of many Belgian and French towns as well as the personality of their people.

A river, majestic: The Meuse… Beautiful theme that has inspired many poets, artists… The Meuse, with its attractions, promoted tourism, sports, culture and arts. This documentary goes to meet the people around the river as they evoke its history and present.

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