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Angel 2018

Angel | Engel | Un Ange

Angel-Engel-Un Ange

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Two lost souls have a stormy romance: Thierry, a sportsman whose career is in decline, and Fae, a young prostitute whose only hope is to survive.

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About the Angel 💬

  • ANGEL is a fictional dramatization based on true characters and real events. Facts and fiction have been mixed.

ANGEL is the fateful love story between Thierry, a world famous cyclist, who meets Fae, a young prostitute, on his holiday in Senegal.

Thierry (Vincent Rottiers) is a world-renowned cyclist who is going through a rough patch in his career. He goes to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, to get away from his problems and blow off steam. Unlike many of the western men on holiday there, Thierry has no intention of exploring the sex-trade. But one night at a local bar he meets the gorgeous African beauty Fae, and it's Love at First Sight (Coup de Foudre).

Being a prostitute is not easy, let alone being Senegalese. Fae (Fatou N'Diaye) is both... But she retains her self-respect and optimism by refusing to identify herself as a whore:

''I'm not a prostitute; I'm a gazelle!''

Fatou N'Diaye as Fae

In each other, they find dignity and hope to free themselves from their troublesome situations. But more important than these mutual desires, understanding, and self-reflection, they mostly find love again. But the complications of Thierry's past as a disgraced athlete and Fae's refusal to register with the authorities so as not to define her life, may not allow the dream they enter to be realized.

Fate has a different plan for them...

ANGEL explores this story with intoxicating sensuality taking us into the present and past of these fated characters.

In his new film, director Koen Mortier is inspired by the final days of famed Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke, who passed away at a young age. Mortier wants to portray the worlds, dreams and fears of both the cyclist and the prostitute. In a way, they have similar lives: both having to give the best of themselves and their bodies to delight fans or customers. Cinematographer Nicholas Karakatsanis paints Senegal in colors that perfectly match the mood of star-crossed lovers whereas the soundtrack by the electronica duo Soulsavers underlines their tragedy.

'ANGEL' is based on the acclaimed novel 'Monologue of Someone who got used to talking to herself' by renowned Belgian author Dimitri Verhulst.


With 'ANGEL' Koen Mortier portrays a turbulent romance, an authentic amour fou between two lost souls: Thierry, an athlete whose career is declining, and Fae, a young Senegalese gazelle, only wanting to survive.

''Both lead characters want to be loved, understood and respected. They are mostly looking for themselves: how did they end up in this situation and how should they continue? I wanted to show the hope, despair and torments that they had to go through, when searching for a better life. The despair is the strongest with Thierry. He can't go on like this. He seems to realize this and sees Fae as his last rescue. She's a strong woman, who will do anything to get a grip on her existence. Her environment and situation won't simply allow this. She has an opinion of her own and stands up for herself.

But despite the evidence of her strength, she remains a meaningless pawn in a world where everything is bought and traded. Her character is party based on a prostitute I met in Senegal, where the story takes place. Her narration left such an impression on me that I chose to incorporate it in Fae's character. This was a clear contrast of the stereotypical image we have of African ladies of the evening.

Thierry was very talented as a young cyclist. He had 'an engine to win the big races', a real champion. But in the end, it turned out completely different. This story can be a mirror for a lot of young sports heroes. The money can flow easily depending on their success and this is eventually the downfall for many of them. Drugs, expensive cars and gold digging women are just a few examples that can cause it. But it's the urge to perform better and to win more that finally ruins them. They start to take doping and other substances to secure future successes.

Fae and Thierry both want to get out of their desperate situations. I wanted to show these two worlds where hope and fears lead parallel. That's why I chose to portray a balance of those two worlds. Their dreams and fears both appear.

I had known Flemish D.O.P Nicolas Karakatsanis since he put his first steps in the film industry. When he showed me his first music video, it was clear that he had immense talent. During the first scouting of 'ANGEL', Nicolas made a lot of photos of the sets. These photos became the indicators of the mood of the film. It was almost magical how he can transform an ordinary setting into something that looks like a painting. It fit. He just knew to find which colors and frames matched the film. We agreed on the visual approach immediately.

During our stay in Senegal, there would be an insistent wind. The sand got blown everywhere. Especially the sound of the playing wind is something that I'll never forget: the flapping of garments, the sound of the cane stalks or the trees, the whistling pass the buildings... The wind played into the feeling of urgency. The characters feel this wind and so will the viewers, without it becoming annoying or unbearable.

The music in tourist bars and hotels in Senegal mostly consists out of lame disco music, combined with local songs: a strange but realistic mix. I wanted to pull the viewer away from this atmosphere, I wanted to appeal to music that translated that tension and ambiguity, reflected the thoughts and feelings of the characters and provided a sound to their hopelessness. I chose for a Lamento with a dark side. By chance, I heard 'Kubrick' by the British band 'Soulsavers'. They immediately were drawn to the story, and we hit it off right away.''

Angel Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Koen Mortier

Writing Credits

Koen Mortier (Written by)

Dimitri Verhulst (Novel)


Vincent Rottiers

Fatou N'Diaye

Paul Bartel

Aïcha Cissé

Luc Assez

Ba Mentor

Mouhamadou Diarra


Cinematography by

Nicolas Karakatsanis

Genre: Drama

Countries: Belgium, Netherlands, Senegal

Angel Official Trailer

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