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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium

Shooting kicks off on 1985, the first series initiated by VRT and RTBF

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- Belgium’s two public TV channels are joining forces to address an enigmatic episode in national modern-day history: the case of the Brabant Killers

Shooting kicks off on 1985, the first series initiated by VRT and RTBF
Tijmen Govaerts in 1985 (© Eyeworks)

For the very first time, the country’s two public broadcasters La Une (RTBF) and Eén (VRT) are coming together to work on a fiction project recounting one of the darkest episodes in Belgian history. Based on real events, 1985 takes the audience back to the socially tumultuous 1980s, a time when the Brabant Killers sowed terror.

For the record, the Brabant Killers were responsible for a series of murderous robberies carried out between 1982 and 1985 which resulted in 28 deaths and innumerable victims. The mystery surrounding the killers’ identity has transformed the case into one of the country’s biggest judicial conundrums, encouraging all manner of wild speculation. The subject has already been explored in fiction form in recent times – and in both languages - via François Troukens and Jean-François Hensgens’ highly successful Above the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: François Troukens
film profile
]
and in Stijn Coninx’s movie Don’t Shoot [+see also:
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trailer
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]
.

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The series follows in the footsteps of three friends: Marc, Franky and his sister Vicky. Bursting with enthusiasm and ambition, the first two leave their rural village for Brussels in order to begin a career in the gendarmerie. But they unexpectedly find themselves joining a squad in crisis, at a time when the country is afflicted by a series of violent robberies. Vicky is studying law at VUB, which is situated opposite the gendarmerie’s headquarters. Her rebellious nature and progressive ideals clash with all that Franky and Marc hold dear. 1985 speaks of these three youngsters’ loss of innocence, but it also relates a breakdown of trust: that felt by the general populace towards the police and the world of politics, whose repercussions can still be felt today.

The three lead roles are played by the brilliant young Flemish actor Tijmen Govaerts (Tench [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Becoming Mona), Aimé Claeys (We [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Mona Mina Leon (Etangs Noirs [+see also:
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trailer
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]
), while the wider cast boasts French-speaking and Dutch-speaking talent in equal measure, namely Roda Fawaz (of the series Unit 42), Guillaume Kerbusch and Yoann Blanc (who both lead the cast of the series The Break), Tom Vermeir (seen this year in Hotel Poseidon [+see also:
film review
interview: Stef Lernous
film profile
]
), Peter Van den Begin (King Nicolas of King of the Belgians [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Woodworth, Peter Br…
film profile
]
and The Barefoot Emperor [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Woodworth
film profile
]
), Ruth Becquart (of the series Blackout, Red Light, Undercover and Over Water) and, last but not least, Titus De Voogdt (of the series Hotel Beau Séjour).

The series is directed by Wouter Bouvijn (of the series The Twelve), created by Willem Wallyn (of the series De 16) and produced by Eyeworks.

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(Translated from French)

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