Fien Troch began teaching at Sint Lukas film school in Brussels simply
to earn some money between projects. Initially she was a little
resentful that it was distracting from her own work, but that soon
changed. 'Even if it's really hard work, or it takes up two or three
weeks constantly doing exercises with students, I know that afterwards
I'll have so much more inspiration and be so much happier to be writing
than if I just sat there everyday trying to write.'
The creative energy of the students is contagious. 'It's the same as
seeing a good film, hearing a song or reading a good book,' she says.
'It challenges me to make something beautiful myself.'
Working with young filmmakers has also taught her to question her own
creative choices. 'If I ask a student to tell me why they decided to do
something I should be able to do the same, and that has been really
It is not all positive, though, and she's been taken aback by the way
some students resist difficult films. 'Sometimes I'm surprised that they
don't have the courage to look at films that aren't that easy to sit
through, and I'm not talking about my own films -- I don't even know if
that's difficult for them.'
The surprise is when they balk at watching something like a Robert
Bresson film, or just scan key scenes on their computers. 'Maybe it's
another generation and another way of watching films,' she says. 'I
don't want to be too old fashioned, but when they say things are hard or
slow, I tell them: nobody ever died from watching a difficult film.'