19:30 Film Leuven 68 - Johan van Schaeren
In the presence of the director
In Leuven '68 we look back over the turbulent years of 1966 to 1968, during which a massive student revolution shook the country to its very foundations. The revolt, which heralded a huge wave of student protests worldwide, was both a reaction to the uncompromising, authoritarian policy of the bishops, and a struggle for an autonomous Dutch-speaking university in Flanders. It was a battle for emancipation, involvement and democratisation, and an extremely passionate linguistic conflict. Leuven '68 is a rare moment in history in which left, right and centre rose up together.
The uprising had serious consequences: the government collapsed, political parties which, up until that point had been unitarian, split into separate French-speaking and Dutch-speaking parties and divided the largest university in the country. But the long-term effects of this were even more radical: in ’68 a new generation revolted against the old. The old rulers, bourgeoisie and establishment were given short shrift and the revolt put an end to power for power’s sake. The “soixant-huitards” became a household name. Leuven '68 represented the end of an era and was, in many respects, both a milestone and a fault line in the history of Belgium.
The film Leuven '68 chronologically reconstructs the facts with the aid of historical footage. The screenplay of the film was based on Het Grote Ongenoegen (Edward De Maesschalck, 1986).
20:45: Debate The artists support the justified demands of the students