"The soul of a people lives in their own language." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
MESSAGE FROM MATYAS
A few months ago, I signed with Pierre Mathiote, producer from Cinérgie Productions to produce the feature film "Botou-Koad" (Breton word meaning "wooden shoes"), which I wrote myself and which deals with punishment by the symbol in the Breton schools in the twentieth century. When I learned Breton language (with Stumdi university), I realized this issue was so important.
We started our approaches to funding and here comes another step, we are planning to shoot in the spring of 2015. To get there we need new partners. It seems to me so relevant that Botoù-Koad - and the trilogy in which it is located - is carried by a movement of people.
We have taken the measure of this film and its strong topics (democracy, the rights of minority peoples, bilingualism, traditional knowledge and traditional skills, the change in the society ...) and the favorable welcoming it finds, as we see how crises shakes our lives ever deeper on this planet.
Several televisions are committed and many partners are in favor of making the film "Botoù-Koad" (wooden shoes). A huge thanks to all those who are mobilized for this project, they show how they think this movie should be done.
Gathering all together to carry this messages will be an additional proof that it is time to propose a new paradigm in the linguistic social horizon.
I take the measure of this responsibility and the context in which this film takes place. It is therefore with great pleasure that I invite you to participate in the making of the film!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW...
All around the world took place in the twentieth century colonization of the people for specific reasons, continents and regions. The punishment of the symbol has been used for over a century to carry out a policy of assimilation often with effective results no matter the consequences. Humanity still losing an average of one language each month. These languages contain rare linguistic specificities of the territory into which it is used, nature, objects, etc ... that are lost forever.
But above all, it is a way of seeing the world that is lost. Globalization eliminates the different visions of mankind and everything called, defined and understood.
"Language is the rudder of the body." (Aménhémhat)
As for Sami people, among many Native American tribes, Wales, Ireland, Wallonia, throughout colonial Africa, Japan or again Latin America, "Ar vuoc'h" as it is called in Britain contributed to the extinction of the Breton language, called Brezhoneg. This punishment was : a pupil had to carry an object around the neck (a stone, a piece of paper, a slate, a shoe ...) during class, if he was caught speaking Breton language – prohibited at that time. He had to denounced another student to get rid of it and not be the last in the end of the day or he had an extra punishment (wash the mouth with soap or water used to clean the board, sweep or clean the class, be on the corner, etc ...). The film is called "Botoù-Koad," because it means "wooden shoes" : one of most common tool until the 60's to turn off the Breton language.
Far from being a dialect (but in reality what is a dialect ?), brezhoneg is a language from a Celtic root which greatly differs from French language. We could compare the French and Breton as one might do with the Norwegian and Russian : these are two distinct constructs in languages that represent two different state of minde and realities.
So I decided to write a movie, produced by Cinérgie Production that speaks of this subject, however painful it may be. It is a duty of memory to understand, be recognized and especially moving forward with languages issues...speakers are disappearing every day. (Breton Wikipedia about it).
This film takes place in Bretagne - called Breizh in breton language - but it is intended to be viewed by all indigenous peoples or minorities who have undergone this mischief. Whatever the country, there has been domination of one people over another. One could also say an idea over another.
This film argues that being different is an inexhaustible source. How many languages is on the planet, how much respect we all deserve for them, only because they exist.
The launch of the crowdfounding ensures that this theme will be carried by a team that has an understanding of the subject and would like to see more concrete lead discussions.
> Imagine the joy of the people who can heal this trauma by understanding what happened to them.
> Imagine the understanding of the younger generation full of language unheard queries.
> Imagine the decisions taken by politicians to recognize and act for the rehabilitation of the oppressed languages.
> Imagine the creativity that can come from the use of new tools that would bring hope and changes.
> Imagine an assumed and natural bilingualism in the families or at school.
Imagine strong roots for our children.
Today, in Breizh area, west France. A mother takes her 7 year old son to his grandfather, who lives alone in a stone house in the middle of the forest. If the grandfather agreed to keep his little son for the weekend, he nevertheless refuses to talk to him because the kid speaks Breton language to him all the time. Despite it is grandfather's mother tongue, his memories are too uncomfortable to face and speak again.
During the weekend, school memories come back, and with them pain of an entire generation : the prohibition to speak Breton or Brezhoneg. The will face the past by beeing together, challenging the assimilation's quiet violence they have unherited.
Based on a true story (or several).
(Extract from story-board - Johanna Bessière)
WHY THIS MOVIE ?
We strongly believe in the power of cinema. But far from willing to start any political progress, we wish to pay tribute and witness the stolen generation who suffered from this linguistic assimilation, consciously or not.
I realized this talking to many different other indigenous people around the globe. This experiences made me realize a lot about my culture because the similarities were striking. I found out why child I asked my grandma', "why do you speak a language I do not understand ?". She answered me each time : "this is not a language that we shall use anylonger, French is what matters now." However, when i was a child, we were counting my brother, sister and me our "parts" of Breton identity : "we are 1/5 French and 4/5 Breton" was what my parents told me.
Today, I still meet elders that reflect all this ideas from their generation by rejecting their mother tongue : probably one of the most relevant clue that tell how convinced they have been from the benefit of swiching from their mother tongue to another language.
Deeply moved by these stories, I realized that the use of the «symbol» was taboo. Taboos gnaw from within while transparency releases. That is the main reason why the movie «Botoù-Koad» was created.
Can we change the paradigm and develop a real healthy ecology of language ? Can we understand the need for roots of our children, for whom identity is a vague concept ? Can we allow people to live their language without considering it as sectarian, reactionary, terrorist, nationalist, separatist ?
Can we accept each other's differences?
It is a challenge the film offers. Not victimizing anyone but seeking to heal the past to move forward. This is a true challenge today.
THEMES & STRUCTURE
The themes are as follows:
- Intergenerational and collective memories.
- The non-language transmission in the family.
- Rise of the new generations that carry a different consciousness.
- The materialization of an object as a symbol of fear.
- The language link between a mother and her child and its representations.
- The assimilation of a people to enter into a majority.
The structure is divided into 2 stages:
- A contemporary period with the grandfather and his little son.
- A period of grandfather young engaged with language difficulties at school.
The narrative oscillates between its two periods of time and then went through a point of resolution for the characters.
(Extract from story-board - Johanna Bessière)
DATE AND SHOOTING
Filming is scheduled for spring 2015 in the center of Breizh area.
On one side in a museum school for the period of the early twentieth century and a stone farmhouse near the forest for the contemporary period.
A TRILOGY ?
After writing Botoù-Koad, other subjects on the brezhoneg language in the form of scenarios and the idea of a trilogy takes shape. "Komzit" is a trilogy of three short films with a common point : brezhoneg language, but dealt with three different point of view in three different scenarios.
The main idea is to deal with contemporary issues to enable a better understanding of the history of the Breton language and the still visible impact.
The three films are are making only 1 movie in 3 parts, it will be broadcast on television and on DVD (with bonus) and used in schools in Breizh area as educational support.
The trilogy is an opportunity for me to make several short films before moving to feature film.
The following two short films deal of bilingualism, the Breton diaspora, war 14-18, Alzheimer among minority peoples.
The tree is present in the 3 films. On one hand because it is a memory of the artistic work and utility wood among the people in Breizh area (furniture, shoes, tools and everyday objects). The tree also refers to the consideration of the tree in the ancient Celtic culture. The roots linked to the branches is a strong symbols for the three films.
WHY A FICTION AND NOT A DOCUMENTARY ?
Choosing to make Botoù-Koad as a movie and not a documentary comes from the desire to bring an extra dimension to the informational aspect of the documentary. Fiction allows a real understanding of the subject while projecting the audience into a situation they can relate to. It is therefore an advantage to treat such a sensitive subject.
Fiction films have changed the course of history:
- "Indigènes," Rachid Bouchareb has allowed non-French fighters of the war in Algeria to get the same war subsidies as French fighters.
- "The rabbit proof-fence" by Philip Noyce led to recognition from the state to the aboriginal people, now officially recognized as "the first inhabitants of Australia."
Many other examples exist and the power of cinema is also located at this level.
AN ECO-FRIENDLY MOVIE ?
The film will be eco-producted. Indeed, today the movie industry is not eco-friendly at all. It therefore seems to me important to act with values that tend to become the future.
An institution created "Ecoprod" on ecoprod.com to promote and support of eco-friendly film projects. Recycling, reusing...become watchwords.
A position (employee or student) will be settled to enable carring out this scheme.
HOW MUCH COST THE MOVIE ?
A film as Botoù-Koad costs € 100,000 in total, this is our budget which includes salaries, transportation, costumes, decoration, sound and video equipment, food, labor costs.
Your contributions could allow us to complete significant subsidies - which we expect answers. Nothing is sure yet to get the full amount. We want to do the movie and we will, even if we are not able to collect the € 100,000. In this case, your donations will be even more valuable to make this film in good condition.
You should know that financing a short film is nowadays a challenge ! Mainly because televisions has no space for short-films distribution, and direct a first film asks partner confidence often reluctant for fear of risk and lack of budget. "Cultural" budgets are reducing increasingly in politics. The funding process is often uncertain.
But we trust and accepted the challenge!
- Artistic rights = € 3,500
- Artistic Staff (actors) = € 3950
- Staff (team) = € 31,060
- Payroll taxes = € 22,593
- Sets = € 1,400
- Costumes = € 2,450
- Makeup = 400 €
- Travel, restoration = € 4,650
- Technical means 1 = € 682.9
- Sound equipment 2 = € 582.25
- Machines = 135 €
- Post-production = € 7,265
Subtotal H.T 1 = € 85,870
Subtotal H.T 2 = € 88,875
Total = € 103,983
WHY THIS PRICE ?
A short film can cost much cheaper using the resources at hand. With a small camera or a phone, you can now make a film.
Our intention is to move towards professionalism, quality equal to feature films.
HOW WILL IT BE DISTRIBUTED ?
The film will be broadcasted on television who took part in the project.
- Projected in short film festival, Breton festivals and internationals.
- Projected in schools that wish to use it as a teaching tool.
- Projected in associations and cinemas in Breizh area who want to broadcast it.
- Other media, internet and television, wishing to show the film.
- A DVD production together with the three short films in the trilogy is planned.
To know more about Matyas, writer-director of Botoù-Koad : matyasreal.wordpress.com