“You've read the story of Jesse James of how he lived and died. If you're still in need; of something to read, here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.”
On may the 23rd, 1934, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were killed by Texas police officers on a rural road near Gibsland, Lousiana. The ambush put an end to two years on the run for the Barrow gang well-known for killing – at least 9 police officers and 5 citizens – and committing dozen of robberies in the Central United States during the Great Depression.
80 years later, as we live a new Great Depression, Bonnie and Clyde are still fascinating people. However in Texas, their
home state, things are evolving for criminals. Famous for its tough-on-crime reputation and its ability to put people on death row, the Lone Star State is now applying smart-on-crime policies and social justice.
This transmedia project interrogates criminality and freedom in our modern world shaken by a financial crisis. Following the tracks of the famous outlaws, this project takes Bonnie and Clyde life as a central theme to travel in the modern Texas, revisit the memory of the criminal lovers and meet young delinquents to understand how justice can impact our society.
Chasing Bonnie & Clyde is written and directed by Thomas Salva and Olivier Lambert, with the participation of Black Yaya, leader of the folk band Herman Dune, who plays the narrator and the singer of this story, as he has composed original songs for this project.
This transmedia project has two complementary parts : a long length feature film + an interactive documentary app for tablets, with a 3 to 60 minutes long immersive experience.
The 90 minutes long documentary
• An interrogation about the criminal justice system in Texas to provoke a reflection about the way a second chance can help criminals to reentry the society
• A 90 minutes story told and sung by Black Yaya the leader of the folk band Herman Dune (original songs)
• A road-movie on Bonnie and Clyde’s tracks through relatives or passionate people who tell what’s left from the criminals
• Meetings with modern Bonnie and Clyde’ (juvenile criminals in Texas), engaged in rehabilitation programs
• Interviews with smart-on-crime advocates
• A subtle mix of videos, archives reels from the 30s, still images and motion design by Arnaud Desjardins (also designer of the app)
An interactive documentary application for tablets
• A web-app built for tablets offering a 3 to 60 minutes immersive video experience with a 220° view on Bonnie and Clyde roads
• Behind the windshield of Bonnie and Clyde’s Ford V8, the user goes by places where the couple lived and robbed. He is free to choose the roads he wants to take, the places he wants to stop by.
• A radio plays news bulletins about Bonnie and Clyde crimes or social justice facts, but also Herman Dune songs
• During his journey, the user collects badges depicting his ‘‘crimes’’, at the end of his journey the user gots his criminal record and his sentence
• To unlock new roads, the user has to invite a friend to do a synchronized connexion and discover new places
Why this story?
“What's past is prologue” – Shakespeare – The Tempest, 1610.
This sentence sums up our point of view: we don't want to make a historical movie, but we do want to take Bonnie and Clyde live as a starting point to tell a story about our current era.
Since 2007, because of the Great Recession, the very tough-on-crime state of Texas has decided to change a bit its criminal justice policies. No doubt death row and harsh sentences are still used, but it appears rehabilitation, reentry and prevention for criminals, especially the young ones, are cheaper than imprisonment.
This is this unexpected paradox we want to highlight with this project.
Chasing Bonnie & Clyde gives food for thoughts: this part of American Dream goes far beyond as it underlines a social realty that could be useful for oour societies and justice systems. Debates about "social justice" and "smart-on-crime" policies are getting bigger and bigger in the US but also in France, in the UK or recently in Australia.
For us, this project is a way to bring new contents and perspectives in this debate. And hopefully invite you to share your thoughts and take part to these major interrogations in order to build a better world for tomorrow.