I remember watching HOPE AND GLORY in my early teens and being amazed by it. Jaco Van Dormael TOTO THE HERO, had the same affect on me some 5 years later. A comedic, love story of innocence and lost opportunities. A story that is narrated like an average story of an average life but unravels into a story of crime, revenge and secret agents. The journey is through the life of Thomas. Then an average old man. He remembers a fire, snatched from a crib in a hospital. Well he wasn’t snatched that was another lucky baby. He remembers a girl, his sister or more really, his hearts desire and not linked by DNA to him at all. He might have murdered the other baby snatched by Mrs Kent, now an old man. Rich, successful, mournful. This to avenge his own life. His own lost youth. Father, mother and family. It could also be because he has a dream of being an agent secret. Hat, gun and action scenes…

TOTO THE HERO is like a voyage across two continents. Marrying up elements of THE SINGING DETECTIVE with Belgium culture. What we actually get from the film, watching it some 20 years after my first view, is a scattered bank of ideas, Proust like reconciliation of memory and Boorman like self reflection. The twists of fate, luck, tragedy and sexual awakening all are handled with charm and character. They are universal and that allows us to navigate  our on experience from youth to adulthood.


HD does enough to hold up but I was never really unhappy with the standard DVD. This just ironed out the colour scale issues.


Few if I am honest. The best, well so little is there that the only one of note to all is that Memories of Hero. Its windy and flabby but the film is still very good no matter the other components…



  • High definition digital transfer
  • Original Uncompressed mono audio
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles
  • Memories of Hero – an extensive documentary on the making of Toto featuring members of the cast and crew
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jon Towlson

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