A Piece of sky

A film by Bénédicte Liénard, 2002

Genre: Drama

Languages: French

Subtitles: English

Format: 1.66

Sound: Dolby Stereo

Running time: 85 min

Countries: Belgium, France, Luxembourg

Year: 2002




A piece of sky tells the story of the resistance of a group of women prisoners and female factory workers. In prison, Joanne questions the authority of those detaining her. Meanwhile, the past catches up with Claudine, working on the production line at the factory, a past which closely binds her to Joanne. Joanne’s lawyer asks her to reveal what drove her friend to violence: accepting to testify would mean denouncing the union structure that still seems to be protecting her. The drama shifts between the factory and the prison, between the personal and the political. Joanna at first relents, cracks and then finally finds within her the strength to forevermore proclaim her right to dignity and the dignity of the women around her. Claudine stands up for herself. She accepts to testify, leading the struggle in the factory, and rejoins Joanna in her radical stance. She refuses the compromise offered by the union structure and accepts the fact of her exclusion. Two women reveal their true selves in their refusal to compromise and are offered an opportunity to renew their friendship.



Director: Bénédicte Liénard
Script: Bénédicte Liénard
Image: Hélène Louvart
Sound: Jean-Jacques Ferran
Editing: Marie-Hélène Dozo
Direction Artistique: Patrick Dechesne et Alain-Pascal Housiaux


Cast: Séverine Caneele, Sofia Leboutte, Josiane Stoléru, Naïma Hirèche, Annick Keusterman, Yolande Moreau, Gaëlle Müller, Bella Spiga, Olivier Gourmet, André Wilms.


Produced by Tarantula (BE), co-produced by Tarantula (LU), JBA Productions (FR).


- ©Tarantula
- ©Tarantula
- ©Tarantula
- ©Tarantula
- ©Tarantula


Cannes Film Festival 2002
Official selection in competition «Un Certain Regard»

Toronto International Film Festival

San Sebastian International Film Festival

London Film Festival

Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival 2003
Best actrice for Séverine Caneele

Los Angeles Film Festival "City of Light, City of Angels"

Women’s Film Festival in Séoul

New York Film Festival "New Directors, New Films"

Joseph Plateau Awards, Belgium, 2004
Best actor: Olivier Gourmet



Benedicte Liénard was born in Belgium in 1965. She studied at the Institut des Arts de Diffusion in the film directing department in Louvain-La-Neuve. At the age of 24 she directed her first short film, then worked as assistant director on films by Jaco Van Dormael, Manu Bonmariage, Raymond Depardon, and the Dardenne brothers. In 1997 and ’98 she devoted herself to the creation of a creative expression workshop in the prison environment, using image and sound. The show “Les images libèrent la tête” at the Museum of Photography in Charleroi showed the photos and videos created by the inmates of Lantin prison. Bénédicte Liénard is vice president of the Belgian section of the International Observatory on Prisons. Since completion of her studies, her incisive documentaries have been selected for and received awards in many festivals, and have been broadcast on television. En attendant Mireille won the jury’s award at the Psy Video Festival in Clichy. Two years later, Les petites choses qui font la vie won the “Singe d’Or” award at the International Short Film Festival in Mons, the special mention of the jury at the Short Film Festival in Montreal, the best documentary video award at the Festival du film de femmes in Quebec, as well as the special jury’s award for best testimony at the Mondial de la vidéo in Brussels. L’adoption, une autre vie, which was addressed to candidates wishing to adopt a child, was commissioned and broadcast by France Télévision.