The Belgians take their cycling seriously. After all, it’s the birthplace of Eddy Merckx, the five time champion of the Tour de France. And it’s a country that plays host to some of the great short races in the sport: La Flèche Wallonne, E3 Harelbeke, Gent–Wevelgem, and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. If you’re familiar with these races, you know they’re not for the faint of heart, seeing that they sometimes take riders across long sections of dangerous cobblestones. (Get a feel for that here.) But when you watch this new documentary, Brussels Express, you start to wonder whether the real risks are not being taken by bike messengers in Brussels, one of the most congested cities in Europe. As David Byrne recently showed us, some modern cities (New York, Copenhagen, Modena) try to make cyclists feel at home. Not so in Brussels. Directed and shot by Sander Vandenbroucke, Brussels Express offers a commentary on something larger than cycling itself. It’s really a tale about modernity, the automobile, the choices we make in our contemporary, mechanized lives, and their social costs. The film runs 20 minutes, and it appears in our collection of Free Documentaries, part of our collection of 635 Free Movies Online.
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Great movie. Beautifully shot. I love Brussels and agree it is congested, mostly due to the influx of people for the Euro, NATO, etc. I don’t think it’s any worse than Rome where the drivers are much more aggressive and it’s still better than just about every American city where drivers are openly hostile to people on bikes.