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Brief Encounters
1,796 Ratings

Villa Empain

Directed by Katharina Kastner
Belgium, France, 2019
Avant-Garde, Short, Documentary
Brief Encounters


Villa Empain was conceived by Belgian philanthropist Louis Empain as a private home. After its completion in 1934, he donated the property to the state. Since then, it has served as a Soviet embassy, a TV studio, etc. Only since 2008 does it fulfill its original destination: a haven for art.

Our take

Some places are haunted not by ghosts, but by history. Katharina Kastner has found one: Baron Empain’s extraordinary 1934 mansion, a marvel of period design that has seen ruin and revival. With the elegance of Resnais and Raúl Ruiz, this beguiling poem of a film conjures the magic of its existence.

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