Leading Lights


Director: Lydie Wisshaupt-Claudel
Director of Photography: Colin Lévêque
Editing: Meline Van Aelbrouck
Music: Thomas Grimm-Landsberg, Lucas Lebart
Production: Les Productions du Verger, Joachim Thôme & Jérôme Laffont
Country of Production: Belgium
Runtime: 90 min
Production Year: 2022
Language: French
Subtitles: English


Marie and Juliette quit their jobs as teachers to open La Petite Ecole in the heart of Brussels, where children without a prior educational background and often in exile are welcome. Leaving formal education aside, they offer them space and time to become children again, before they are confronted with the school that expects them to be students. The film takes us into their efforts and research, and thus leads us to see the education system as a potential continuator of the oppression that affects us all.


Lydie Wisshaupt-Claudel

Lydie Wisshaupt-Claudel has lived in Brussels since 2001. She has studied editing at the Higher National Institute of Performing Arts (INSAS). After graduating in 2006, she made her directorial debut with "There's still light" (Il y a encore de la lumière), a travelogue in Iceland about coping with loneliness. Based on a long journey through the American West, "Sideroads" (2012), her first feature-length documentary, emerged: she and her partner met Americans who wandered between faith and delusion on the path to the American Dream. During the trip she was in the California military city of Twentynine Palms, where she returned to direct "Killing Time – entre deux fronts", her third documentary, which won multiple awards and international recognitions at festivals in 2015. Her recent feature-length documentary, "Leading Lights" (Éclaireuses), invites us to challenge our education system and prejudices through observation of the daily work and research of two teachers who work with children without educational backgrounds, most of them in exile. She continues to work alternately as director and editor, as she is convinced that both these fields are complementary and enrich each other.