086 - Carnival In Flanders (1935)

Carnival In Flanders tells the story of how a group of women save a town from invaders after the men desert.

As the town of Boom in Flanders prepares for the carnival, the mayor commissions a large painting of the town's leaders. As the painter steadies himself to ask the mayor for his daughter's hand in marriage the mayor promises her to his deputy.

Meanwhile, Spanish scouts enter the city informing residents that their Duke plans to spend the night sending the mayor and his team into panic for fear of rape, pillage and plunder. The mayor plays dead, leaving the women to take charge and entertain the invaders on their own.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Carnival In Flanders is a satirical nod towards the lack of freedom of French women in the 17th Century. The approach to having the women taking control of the city has a very Ancient Greek feel - the Athenian women refused to have relations with the men until they put a stop to the Peloponnesian War.

The characters give Carnival In Flanders an almost farcical nature. The cowardly but pompous Mayor is played out in a similar manner to a modern day pantomime dame while his commanding, but tactile, wife has an air of early 20th Century women's rights about her. On the other side, the 17th Century female role is played out by the mayor's daughter with her two suitors showing the politics behind betrothal in the period.

The end result is a fabulously exaggerated look at the Spanish Invasion of Flanders.