Hedda Gabler (Jan Decorte, 1987)

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Online Premiere: Jan Decorte
Hedda Gabler (Jan Decorte, 1987)

On the 12th of May, 2021, Avila will celebrate its one-year anniversary. For this festive occasion the platform digitised two films by theatre maker Jan Decorte, Hedda Gabler (1978) and Pierre (1977). Together with his television production Gombrowicz: Incidents, Adventures (1977), these films will be made available online to a worldwide audience. In addition, Avila is giving away 250 free coupons for Hedda Gabler on the 12th of May from 19:30 CET onwards.

Jan Decorte is best known as a theatre maker, although he did spend a number of dedicated early years in the film industry. He appeared in two films by Chantal Akerman: Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and Toute une nuit (1982). Above all, in only a few years he directed three films considered milestones in Belgian cinema. These films have unfortunately disappeared from the centre of public attention. For this reason Avila took the initiative to digitise Hedda Gabler and Pierre. Jan Decorte's work is here reintroduced to the public more than forty years after its creation.


Hedda Gabler
Jan Decorte's second feature film is an adaptation of the play Hedda Gabler by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Decorte moved the locus of action of Ibsen's realistic play from 1890 to 1950, twenty-eight years earlier than when the film was shot. The story begins when Hedda returns home from an overly long honeymoon with her newly wed but colourless husband Tesman. She is pregnant and will be courted by the writer Eljert Lövbor, an old lover who is about to break through with an exceptional novel of autobiographical quality. Decorte’s cinema is characterised by a sense of cinematic economy and a dramatised theatricality.


Press & Publications

  • ‘Reservoir: Jan Decorte,’ Marianne Van Kerkhoven, 2007 / SARMA (Dutch, English, French)
  • ‘“Roof met wederzijdse toestemming”. Interview met Jan Decorte,’ Dirk Lauwaert, 1983 / Etcetera & Sabzian (Dutch, English)
  • ‘Hedda Gabler,’ Dirk Lauwaert, 1979 / Sabzian (Dutch, English)
  • ‘De geest van Hedda Gabler,’ Isolde Vanhee, 2017 / Sabzian (Dutch)
  • ‘“Ik ben het gewend dat het publiek wegloopt”: Jan Decorte over Hedda Gabler,’ Frank Zaagsma, 1979 / Sabzian (Dutch)
  • ‘Pierre,’ Dirk Lauwaert, 1976 / Sabzian (Dutch, English)
  • ‘Adolescentie als stilleven,’ Dirk Lauwaert, 1976 / Sabzian (Dutch)


The films are available worldwide with Dutch, English and French subtitles. 

How does it work?

  • Head to www.avilafilm.be on Wednesday May 12th from 19:30 CET onwards.
  • At the image of Hedda Gabler you will find a COUPON button
  • Click on the COUPON button to activate your ticket
  • The film is now available for viewing. You can do this immediately or at any time within the specified 3-day period.
  • When the 250 coupons have been used up, Hedda Gabler remains available on the platform at the usual charge together with Pierre and Gombrowicz: Incidents, Adventures.