Nothing to Declare (image 1)

The worst nightmare of an insanely Francophobic Belgian customs officer comes true when the EU erases intra-European borders.

Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

Nothing to Declare 2010

Rien à déclarer

Directed by Dany Boon

Danny Boon follows up his phenomenally popular Welcome to the Sticks with another hit comedy about parochial prejudice: when the EU dissolves the borders it can’t dissolve the rivalry between French and Belgian customs officers.

Belgium / France In Dutch and French with English subtitles
108 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay

Producer

Jérôme Seydoux

Photography

Pierre Aïm

Editor

Luc Barnier

Production designer

Alain Veissier

Costume designer

Jean-Daniel Vuillermoz

Music

Philippe Rombi

With

Dany Boon (Mathias Ducatel)
,
Benoît Poelvoorde (Ruben Vandevoorde)
,
Karin Viard (Irène Janus)
,
François Damiens (Jacques Janus)
,
Julie Bernard (Louise Vandevoorde)
,
Bouli Lanners (Bruno Vanuxem)
,
Laurent Gamelon (Duval)
,
Eric Godon (Willems)
,
Zinedine Soualem (Lucas Pozzi)
,
Bruno Lochet (Tiburce)

Elsewhere

Proceeding from his observation that racism appears especially stupid when the antagonists look alike and speak (more or less) the same language, he forges farce from the age-old stand-off between salt-of-the-earth Belgians and their supercilious neighbours in the large republic to the south-west. It’s 1992 and small-town Belgian customs officer Ruben (Benoît Poelvoorde) is melting down at the prospect of the Common Market dissolving the border. No longer will he be paid to insult any escargot-muncher rash enough to venture into his Kingdom. Even worse, he’s about to be teamed up with his French equivalent (Boon) in an EU drug squad. Need it be added that the wily Frenchman has a yen for Ruben’s lovely young sister? Broad, energetic and zestily performed, Boon’s comedy kids beleaguered nationalist sensibilities either side of the border. It is a hit in both countries too. — BG