Hosted in the Italian Cultural Institute
In order to mark the International Women’s Day in Beijing on March 8, the Embassy of Belgium, together with the Embassy of Italy, co-organized the projection of the documentary Addio Addio Amore, by Belgian Director Jean-Michel Dehon. Duration: 01:03:54.
The Ambassador of Italy H.E. Luca Ferrari and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium H.E. Jan Hoogmartens presided the screening.
A reception followed with Belgian beer, Belgian Beef Stew and fries by Renaat Morel and several Italian dishes.
Newsletter of the Belgian Embassy:
I found the documentary very interesting and very well done. It reminded me of my own “immigrant experience”, in Brazil and in China.
Addio Addio Amore
The documentary tells the story of courageous Italian women who migrated to Belgium after the Second World War.
These women were following their husbands who came to work in Belgian coal mines. Coal miners were working in very harsh conditions. Some lost their lives, notably on August 8th, 1956 during the biggest Belgian mining disaster at the “Bois du Casier” in the town of Marcinelle, where 262 men died, among which 136 Italians. The sacrifice of these men is still commemorated by Belgian and Italian authorities every year. The coal miners are remembered but the story of their wives and children is too little known, and too little told. This is precisely the aim of the movie Addio Addio Amore: to put some light on these women, who were also wives and mothers who played a central role, not only in their families but also on their own involvement in several industrial sectors in Belgium.
Today, more than 300,000 persons of Italian origin live in Belgium (for a population of 11 million inhabitants), creating countless ties and friendships. Belgium is grateful to these men and women from Italy who contributed so much to its development and society.
See the leaflet distributed in the room.
Synopsis of the movie
75 years ago, Italy, then ruined by war, and Belgium signed an agreement to exchange labor for coal. Then began an unprecedented wave of immigration in Belgium in which women and girls played an essential role in the success of Italian integration. They tell us their story, the stories of women who one day came to join their husbands, without ever having denied their roots and their culture.
Great link with pictures: https://www.grignoux.be/fr/film/1284/addio-addio-amore
En prenant le parti de n’interroger que des femmes dans ce documentaire retraçant l’immigration italienne en Belgique, Jean-Michel Dehon rend hommage à ces héroïnes de l’ombre, rarement entendues, qui ont pourtant eu un rôle essentiel dans la réussite de l’intégration italienne.
Il y a 75 ans, l’Italie, alors ruinée par la guerre, et la Belgique signaient un accord d’échange de main d’œuvre contre du charbon. Commença alors chez nous une vague d’immigration sans précédent. Cette histoire a été maintes fois racontées dans de nombreux ouvrages, mais rarement du point de vue des femmes.
Dans ce documentaire, ce sont elles, les fiancées, les épouses, les mamans, les sœurs qui vont raconter cette immigration, leur immigration, l’aventure de leur mari mineur et de toute leur famille en Belgique. Alternant les images d’hier et d’aujourd’hui tournées dans la région des charbonnages en Belgique et en Italie, ce film donne la place à des témoignages émouvants qui résonnent particulièrement avec la réalité migratoire d’aujourd’hui
Also in French:
One thought on “International Women’s Day in Beijing”
Nice article. The film is indeed very good and touching. Even for me knowing part’s of the story it is a complete surprise to see how difficult conditions the ladies with their children had to endure