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The Maastricht Diplomat

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Lumiere in Maastricht – the special kind of cinema

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Earlier this October, the Lumière cinema, that some only knew from the inconspicuous sign pointing into a street close to the FaSoS Faculty at Grote Gracht, re-opened at a new location. Instead of a sign, the letters “LUMIÉRE” now shine over the waters of the Boschstraatkwartier, giving you a harbour-like atmosphere that makes you feel like you are not in Maastricht anymore but on holiday.

The building used to be the old power station of the Sphinx Factories and apart from the cinema halls, the corresponding restaurant is now set in this factory floor with high ceilings, a lot of lights and gorgeous views over the water. However, what makes Lumière truly special is not the new setting, but its selection of movies. If you are fed up with the Hollywood mainstream supply of boy-meets-girl-then-something-goes-wrong-but-they-find-each-other-anyway, you should really put Lumière on your bucket list. Here you find a selection of international art house and smaller independent films, usually awarded at the Cannes Film Festival or other similar festivals recognizing the special, sophisticated work of movie directors outside of Hollywood.

These films are always shown in their original language with Dutch subtitles. Nevertheless, even those international students among us who missed out on learning the Dutch language (I am too one of those cultural philistines), will definitely find something amazing in the selection that is in a language you understand and has a story that will appeal to you. Whether it is the Romanian story “Bacalaureat” of an overbearing father who wants to get his daughter into a British University at any price – or the Italian “Fuocoammare” that engages with the contemporary refugee crisis, set at Lampedusa, which won prizes at the Berlinale. It covered the individual stories of refugees who took the suicidal route over the Mediterranean Sea – this film one amazed politicians such as Matteo Renzi so much, he gave a DVD to each head of government at the European Council. On the other hand, you can watch the wonderful Meryl Streep take over the part of “Florence Foster Jenkins”, a legendary New York City heiress, who hears herself sing with a beautiful opera voice, while everybody else can only hear the opposite. Also playing right now is the American “Captain Fantastic” production, where Aragorn actor Viggo Mortensen has build up a nature-based life for his children outside of the normal world, which they then have to engage with from a completely different angle when setting foot in a US city for the first time. This is only a small selection of the movies shown in there, while it also has a wide range of French, Dutch and German movies. Additionally, the cinema cooperates with the University and other associations in a movie series called “Movies that matter”, showing films about contemporary issues and ones that are dedicated to political education.

So, go and find the movie that might become your new favourite and visit Lumière. If you now think “Ok cool, but I don’t want to spend so much money in cinemas”, don’t worry, Lumière is actually the cheapest choice in Maastricht with 6,50 Euros for students. Although keep in mind that it just reopened and hence is visited so much you should call before going there to reserve some tickets. So especially in these cold winter months when Maastricht ‘s best entertainment seems to be its piss-weather and wind, you don’t have to stay in your bed all day and get depressed but have a cosy evening at Bassin 88. Enjoy!


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