Charles Dekeukeleire (1905-1971) was a Belgian film director. Along with Henri Storck, he is often considered one of the pioneers of Belgian cinema. Dekeukeleire is particularly renowned for his experimental silent films. His debut Combat de boxe (1927), a playful experiment involving a variety of camera and editing techniques, already indicates the influence of the theories of the French avant-garde and Dziga Vertov’s manifesto, whom he greatly admired. Impatience (1929), Histoire de détective (1930) and Witte vlam (1930), his subsequent experimental feature films, present a further exploration of this question of how cinematic 'reality’ is constructed through various deconstructions of the camera eye. His career spans a total of four decades in which he produced both documentaries and commissioned works. His Het kwade oog (1937), based on a story by Herman Teirlinck, was Belgium's first fiction feature film.
Dekeukeleire's blending of a realistic approach - the fields and harvests of the Flemish countryside - with a purely formal study akin to his silent films was not to the unanimous liking of the audience at the time, for whom the work proved either too obscure or insufficiently innovative. Originally starting out as a film critic, Dekeukeleire also continued to write on film throughout his career as a filmmaker. He published essayistic texts such as L'émotion sociale (1942) and Le cinéma et la pensée (1947), in which he set his film theory against a broader philosophical and social background.