Director Rob de Hirt passed away at the age of 77. De Hert was one of the pioneers of modern Flemish cinema. He was responsible for movies like De Witte van Sichem, Blueberry Hill, and Lijmen / Het Be. Robbe De Hert has been struggling with health issues for quite some time.
De Hert was born in Great Britain during the Second World. After the war he returned to Antwerp with his parents. He studied electricity at school, but as soon as he got a photo camera, he said he knew instantly where his future lay.
At the end of the 1960s he made his debut with the short film De Bom. Another milestone was the founding of Fugitive Camera, a group of committed filmmakers. In the early 1970s, de Hurt directed “Death of a Sandwichman,” in which he narrates the death of cyclist Jean-Pierre Monsier and denounces the commercialization of cycling.
For the general public a big breakthrough came 40 years ago with “De Witte van Sichem,” a film based on the novel “De Witte” by Ernst Claes. Later on, De Hert had success with the movie The Beagle Boys with actors Leo Martin and Gaston Berghmans among others. The song “Blueberry Hill” with music by Jan Layers and Paul Michels was also very popular. At the end of the last century, he also filmed the movie “Lijmen / Het Be” by Willem Elsschot.
Hollywood on the Scheldt
This trend also turns out to be Robbe De Hert’s last work for a long time. But two years ago there was still a documentary “Hollywood on the Scheldt” about the history of Belgian film. Robbe De Hert always dreamed of this movie, but for some time he failed to fulfill those plans due to financial problems. However, through crowdfunding and support from the Ministry of Culture and the city of Antwerp, the director was able to make this dream come true.
However, the director was already struggling with illness problems at the time. He won’t recover from that either.