‘Yes, I do move around a lot. It is grist to the mill but I am eager to see and hear as much as I can: a play, an exhibition or a concert. It’s all about socialising. Shared experiences help to give some direction to your life, your decisions, your work. They are very rewarding.’ Although he grew up in Vilvoorde, Beukelaers feels like a true Brusselite. ‘I left Vilvoorde in 1959. That was back in the Middle Ages! It is better to see what’s happening in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to film in Africa, and live in Bali and Morocco. I still enjoy setting off to places but I always like to get back home again. Honestly. It’s probably just me but this climate, vegetation, people, language. These are affinities that I do not have with another country.’
Beukelaers does not know the meaning of a leisurely retirement. He is 80 years old but seems to be bowling through life like someone in their early thirties. Last week London, tomorrow Paris but he managed to squeeze this interview in between the two visits.