A blog to remember Gilles Laurent, who died in Brussels Attack in the middle of making his film about Fukushima / this blog is organized by his wife Reiko Udo

ベルギー大使館でのスピーチ 14/12/2016 My Speech at the Embassy of Belgium in Tokyo






Hello everybody, and thank you very much for coming today. My name is Reiko Udo, Gilles Laurent’s wife. The director of the film called ‘The Abandoned Land’.




This is the memorial year of 150th anniversary of friendship between Belgium and Japan. I am grateful to have this event, the screening of his film ‘The Abandoned Land’ in this Embassy of Belgium in Tokyo, at such a wonderfull venue. Unfortunately my husband passed away, for him this is a place like ‘hometown in a foreign country’. He must be feeling very honored and happy somewhere in this place.



Simply put, this film is about ‘Fukushima after the disaster’. But it is not only about Fukushima, as he was saying, it is a film about the bond between the land and the people by looking through the example ‘Fukushima’. It is a film about people’s hometown. He liked Japan as he moved in with me and two children, but at the same time I think he was missing his country strongly. I don’t deny that his feeling for his hometown is reflected into this film. The people who are attatched strongly and naturally to the land… I am sure that their feeling was maybe a resonance of Gilles’



Strangely and wonderfully, a film is a magic. Even if the person who made dies, he comes back to life each time one sees the film. I wish people will feel what Gilles loved strongly, not only the socialistic idea he had, nor the tragic situateion which he tried to clarify. But also the beauty of the nature such as mountains, clouds, the moon, the insects, the sound of the life, delicious-looking foods… he was a person who was enjoying his five senses when he had his own body.



I was alone when I came to this Embassy in April to report about his death. But today, I am never alone. I am surrounded with a good company of people. What Gilles has left me is not only two children and the film. But also the friends and colleagues who back us up with strong bonds. He also left me an important work to be a bridge between these two countries. My journey still continues.




To finish my speech, I would sincerely like to express my thankfulness to His Excellency Mr. Gunther SLEEUWAGEN,

Minister-Councellor Mr. Vergeylen, Consul Mrs。Kerremans, Mrs. Daté, and all the people working in this Embassy, preparing and presenting today. Thank you very much.