THE INVISIBLE WORLD AND SILENCE… SO ELOQUENT!
Showing the invisible and making silence speak, leaning on information gleaned from
infinitesimally small fragments that have many a tale to tell… that is the challenge
in historical documentaries, said the Italian filmmaker and producer, Adolfo Conti,
as he presided over the closing ceremony of the festival at the” Usine à Gaz”: the
place to be for art in Nyon, a town situated on the banks of Lake Geneva, between
Geneva and Lausanne. Actually, it’s quite a tricky job… but one whale of an adventure!
The “image specialists” can have a ball, while continuing to observe a humble and
rigorous approach to our History (recorded in writing) and our Prehistory, valiantly
going back millions of years. For the temptation is there to make our finds say
what we want them to say, to be in line with prevailing ways of thinking, current
ideologies and beliefs. But in archaeology it is not a matter of finding what you
expect to find… you find what there is to find - and you have to be thankful. If
all this searching strikes a chord within us, I believe it is because we still have,
somewhere at the back of our minds, memories of what we used to be, at the beginning
of time. These memories give us strength and make us proud; they are our anchor;
they give us the guts to fight and carry on.
“LE DERNIER PAYSAN PREHISTORIEN”: PRIZEWINNER AT NYON FESTIVAL
It was a great honour to be invited to Nyon to receive a prize for « Le Dernier
Paysan Préhistorian », the film shot in the Périgord and which seeks to render
the spirit of a country, the spirit and soul of a man passionately attached to his
roots which, thanks to our Magdalenian ancestors, were bequeathed to him in the
prodigious form of a painted cave: Bernifal. The public, the members of the jury
and the festival organizers, led by Christophe Goumand, gave me a warm and unostentatious
welcome… truly unforgettable! As film director, I was deeply moved by this token
of appreciation. For me, making films about prehistory with characters who are profoundly
attached to our “Grand passé” gives me the chance to observe the way Man has changed
with the times over millions of years. It is a message of hope and fraternity, for
everywhere here on earth there are wonderful people who make our lives worth living.
And if we want to show archaeologists digging for information 20,000 years hence
what our present-day world is like, we must bring to the foreground people such
as Gilbert Pémendrant, people who literally glow with kindness and generosity. Here
is the list of prizewinners at this eighth festival. The jury consisted of:
Adolfo Conti, filmmaker and documentary film producer in Italy, Erige Sehiri, filmmaker
and freelance journalist in Tunisia, Philippe Curdy, archaeologist, curator of the
Historical Museum in Sion in the Swiss canton of Valais, Denis Weidman, archaeologist
in the canton of Vaud and Maria Longhena, Americanist archaeologist, director of
the “Storia del Passato” festival in Bologna. But, coming back to Gilbert, our real-life
hero… here‘s where you can make his acquaintance:
« Soirée CINÉ RENCONTRE » at the Cinéma Lux in Le Buisson de Cadouin
Sunday, April 28 - 8.30 p.m.
“Nuit du Film d’Archéologie” at the Musée et Centre de Recherches in Bibracte, Morvan
Wednesday, 24 July 2013.
Screening at the « Paléosite » in Saint-Césaire, Charente Maritime
Friday, 27 September 2013.
I’ll be there too.
Looking forward to seeing you again.
Translated into English by Valérie Saraben
Festival du Film d’Archéologie in Nyon :
A unique Festival in Switzerland