Just as every sport has its classic eventshop, it has its classic films. In 1976, Jørgen Leth (of The Five Obstructions fame) documented the famed Paris-Roubaix bike race. This is an event whose reputation is that it pushes its champions to the limits of their skills and endurance. A 270 kilometer race with significant stretches over the cobblestoned cow-paths of l’enfer du nord, the infamous hell of the north, this is an intense test of tactics and of muscle.
Before lycra, before carbon fibre racing frames, before funny chemicals, there were the Belgians – the famed Eddie Merckx and his arch-rival Roger De Vlaeminck – who squared off against each other in this decisive duel. Leth captures every crucial moment of the race: the hopeful fools in the breakaway, the grinding mass of the peleton, the choking dust of the pavée, the fallen and bleeding by the roadside, and the final, desperate, sinew-wrenching sprint for la gloire.
You can see every bead of sweat on the cyclists and every smashed-up ankle. It really makes you never want to get on a bike again. But it is an amazing film.
Nick Fraser, BBC Commissioning Editor
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Film Title : A Sunday in Hell
Language : ranska, tanska, englanti
Director : Jörgen Leth
Year : 1977
Length : 111
Age limit : K7
Format : Blu-Ray
Cinematographer : Claude Bertrand, Birger Bohm, Morten Bruus, Dirk Brüel, Henning Camre, Paul Constantini, Jean-Claude Fontan, Jean-Pierre Gautier, Ron Goodman, Henrik Herbert, Steen Herdel, Teit Jørgensen, Peter Klitgaard, Jacques Loiseleux, Gregers Nielsen, Alain Pottiez, Peter Roos, Rolf Rønne, Fritz Schrøder, Uffe Kaare Thomsen, Serge Valdenaire, Jan Weincke, Roland Wieder
Editing : Lars Brydesen
Music : Gunner Møller Pedersen
Producer : Christian Clausen, Jørgen Leth
Production Company : Steen Herdel Film
Title in Original Language : En forårsdag i Helvede
Tue 28.1. at 17.45, Orion