Café Derby

Café Derby Lenny Van Wesemael

Café Derby

Georges enjoys a God-given talent of show mastery. With the confident charisma of the desperate salesman, he knows but one truth: The product matters far less than its presentation. Always in the center of attention, he sells anything to anyone who would listen.

But as any lonely showman, he does not manage to deceive those who have seen the trick to often. His wife and his five children went through hard times while Georges failed one overambitious project after the other. Through pure chance, Georges learns about the planned visit of Pope John Paul II to Belgium before anyone else and plans to reopen the old Café Derby on the event site. It is the last time that the cash tills ringing in Georges’ head spark the excitement of his family.

Café Derby revives John Paul II’s visit in Belgium in May 1985 which was attended by more than 150,000 people at any one time. The cult of the pope, revered all around the globe, takes on another, more ironical form in this honest portrait of Belgian wit and cleverness. However, Lenny Van Wesemael made a willful decision not to portray the highest dignitary of the Catholic church but a man so ordinary, struggling and hopeful that the viewer cannot but wish him luck.