France Radio Club is 50!

The France Radio Club (FRC) and its Offshore Echos Magazine (OEM) have turned 50 years old this year, hard as it is to believe. For this occasion, Francois Lhote has been working for months on a four-hour double DVD, which is also available as a Blu-Ray version. This four-hour masterpiece fascinates from the first minute to the last, proving itself to be a fireworks display of historical events spanning five decades of radio history. The well-known milestones, especially from the offshore broadcasting era (featuring impressive photos and film footage!), serve not only as chronological guides but also as triggers for personal memories, often including poignant moments (consider, for example, the story of Radio Caroline with its many mast failures, defiant resurrections, the raid by Dutch authorities in August 1989, the sinking of the Mi Amigo, and the gradual demise of the broadcasting ship Ross Revenge).

At the heart of this multi-hour documentary, however, are primarily the people who met five decades ago at the FRC through their shared hobby and became lifelong friends. One repeatedly sees them in photos and video footage during visits to the broadcasting ships, at festive events, and finally, at their regular gatherings in Calais. Baudouin Dom, Chris Edwards, Robert Magniez, and Francois Lhote – to name just a few of the protagonists – are the real stars of this film, because their modest, unpretentious demeanor, yet simultaneously their unshakable love for the common area of interest, becomes apparent. This has led to unbreakable international friendships that have persisted beyond the death of individual members and remain to this day. The film represents a kind of completed life story, from which one senses at the end: there is not much new coming, only sadness. It is an impressive, often emotionally stirring documentary of the highest quality. One can only respectfully tip one’s hat.

More details here.

Martin van der Ven