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Project description

THE PORTRAITIST
Documentary, 52'.

A rural school in the Spanish republic of the '30s. A lost world through the eyes of children who are learning to write. The utopia of a teacher truncated by war and dictatorship. A documentary and a collective effort in memory of the victims of Franco's repression.

SYNOPSIS
School year 1934-35. The Ministry of Education of the Spanish Republic appoints Antoni Benaiges as teacher at the rural primary school of Bañuelos de Bureba, a tiny village lost in the boundless countriside in Burgos province.

Few months after taking office, Antoni buys a printing machine for his pupils. His idea, based on the methodology of the French pedagogue Celestine Freinet, is that school should provide the children with all tools for expressing their own natural knowledge and skills, usually underestimated and ignored by traditional education.

The experiment of rural school printing raises great enthusiasm: during the first winter, the school of Bañuelos de Bureba issues the first leaflets thoroughly written and illustrated by the pupils. They describe the day life of a Spanish village of the 30s, with the eyes of children who are learning to write with the printing machine. One of the leaflet was published for the visit of a photographer to the school: the title is The Portraitist.

Bañuelos' leaflets soon spread among Spanish Freinet Schools in Spain, France, Mexico, Cuba. The school booklets survive thanks to their many subscribers: farmers from the village, teachers from other school, up to president of the Spanish Republic, mr. Alcalá Zamora. Antoni Benaiges becomes a reference for school innovation in democratic Spain.

A year passes and the shool issues a new leaflet: The sea: dreams of children who never saw it. Antoni has got a new ambitious project for that summer: he wants to bring his pupils to Barcelona and the sea, some 600 Km away from the village. But it's already July 1936, the outbreak of the Spanish civil war, and Burgos province is on Franco's side in his aggression against the Republic.

Antoni Benaiges, leftwing activist, is immediately purged from office with scores of his collegues. Arrested and tortured in Briviesca, he will be shot dead and buried in La Pedraja mass grave at the end of that month which changed the Spanish history of the XXth century.

76 years later, a catalan photographer comes back to Bañuelos. His black&withes capture the remains of the abandoned school, the portraits of few of those pupils, now in their 90s, the ragged pages of the few leaflets they kept jealously over decades. Few kilometers away, a team of the archeologists and forensic doctors works for exhumating La Pedraja mass grave.

Modern portratist, the photographer searching for clues of Antoni Benaiges will be the thread for a documentary on the Franco's repression of a generation of teachers at the fall of the Spanis Republic, where the voice of Antoni's old pupils will eventually shed new light on forgotten war crimes which are now in danger to be erased forever.

CROWDFUNDING FOR THE MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR CRIMES

Few week after taking office, the new right-wing Spanish government closed the Office for the Victims of Civil War (see article, in Spanish). Desaparecidos of Franco's repression are approximately 120.000, but the process of exhumation of Spanish mass graves started with the Historical Memory Act in 2007 will be halted by budget cuts and Spanish government's lack of interest.

Nonetheless, the memory of those crimes is still alive in Spain and families and people now working for their country to confront its past, simply don't wont to resign.

Seventy years ago, the dream of Antoni Benaiges became true thanks to the leaflets' many subscribers. Nowadays, the documentary on the project of his progressive rural school will also become true only thanks to contributors like you.

The crowdfunding campaing for The Portraitist is then a chance for making ordinary people the true defenders of a democratic historical memory of Europe at a grass-roots level, namely in a time when it is more and more in danger to be erased from the political agenda.

WHAT WE MADE, WHAT IS LEFT TO DO

The Prortraitist is a project based on the photo exhibition "Digging the silence" by the catalan photographer Sergi Bernal, exposed in Barcelona in 2011.

In the past november we travelled back to La Pedraja Mountains and Bañuelos de Bureba, where we shot the last exhumation of La Pedraja mass grave and we met some of the aged Antoni's former pupils.

What we are now looking for is funds for ending the shooting and starting the editing and postproduction of the documentary.

Any contribution, no matter how big, will add the project the great value of being a collective effort for the memory of democracy in Europe.

Thanks for your help!

Cast&credits

Original title: El Retratista
English title: The Portraitist
Direction, editing, cinematography: Alberto Bougleux
Story: Sergi Bernal
Runtime: 25'
Year: 2012

The Song Campanades a mort is by Lluís Llach, courtesy of the author.

 

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Q&A(13)

  • Cómo podemos traerla a México para exponerla a los pedagogos en la UNAM

    Made by ixchel

    Apreciados amigos, veo sólo ahora vuestra pregunta de hace unos meses. Estamos esperando respuesta de DocDF para presentar el documental en México este otoño. Fuera del festival, sería muy interesante si podemos organizar con vosotros una proyección en la UNAM. Allí estamos en contacto con el prof. Fernando Jímenez, podríamos pensar en una iniciativa en conjunto? podemos seguir esta conversación por mail (elretratista2012@gmail.com) o en la página de El Retratista en Facebook (elretratistafilm). Saludos!

  • Lo primero enhorabuena por la inciativa y por la forma tan original de llevarla a cabo. Participo en la elección de películas en el videoforum de una residencia universitaria y desearíamos exhibir su documental ¿como podemos hacerlo?

    Made by Juan Carrascosa

    Hola Juan, muchas gracias por tu interés! envíanos un correo a elretratista2012@gmail.com con una posible fecha y lugar de la proyección y vamos definiendo los detalles. Saludos!

  • Hola, No te hago ninguna pregunta, sino que lamento no haber tenido noticias de vuestro proyecto antes para poder suscribir. Me interesa seguir teniendo informacion para ver lo que puedo hacer para ayudar a dar a conocer el proyecto en Francia.

    Made by Antonio Fraile

    Hola, gracias por tu interés! Seguiremos publicando informaciones sobre el documental - ya en fase de finalización - y su difusión en el blog del proyecto en Verkami. Por todas las iniciativas de difusión puedes contactarnos directamente al mail retratista2012@gmail.com. Saludos!

  • Bon dia. Enhorabona per la iniciativa i per l'èxit! Els que no hem arribat a temps per contribuir en el crowdfunding, podrem comprar la publicació? Com es pot saber quan sortirà? Gràcies!

    Made by Mar

    Hola Mar merci pel teu interés en el projecte del Retratista. El documental està en la fase de finalització, aviat publicarem en aquest blog notícies sobre la seva difusió i la disponibilitat de DVDs. Seguim en contacte en aquestes pàgines!

  • Hola, falta molt de temps per acabar el DVD? L'enviareu als domicilis? Gràcies i salutacions

    Made by Histor

    Hola, tenemos previsto finalizar el montaje esta primavera y enviar los DVDs y la recompensas a todos l@s mecenas antes del verano. Para quién vive cerca o quiere viajar, algunas secuencias del documental se mostrarán en exclusiva mañana 6 de mayo en Bañuelos de Bureba (Burgos) en ocasión del homenaje a la figura del maestro Benaiges (noticia completa en el blog). Saludos!

  • Hola. Volem col·laborar amb vosaltres però no tenim tarja. Podeu enviar-nos el número de compte per fer una transferència?

    Made by MRP Escola d'Estiu Marina-Safor

    Hola, podéis enviar una mail a elretratista2012@gmail.com y os facilitaremos todos los datos necesarios, gracias!

  • Antes de nada, enhorabuena por la magnífica iniciativa de este proyecto sobre un tema histórico tan relevante y que merece la pena recordar. Soy compositor, me gustaría participar, quería ponerme en contacto con vosotros para hablar sobre la BSO.Grac

    Made by José Manuel Quintana

    Gracias por tu apoyo e interés, si quieres puedes contactarnos directamente a esta dirección de correo: elretratista2012@gmail.com. Saludos!

  • Un treball excel·lent Sergi & Company!

    Made by Albert Ferrero

    ;-)

  • Porque no os dais de alta en paypal.? Es lo mas comodo! Necesito un num. de cuenta, no tengo tarjeta compatible con este sistema vuestro. Mucha suerte Manena Coira

    Made by manena

    Estimada Manena, gracias por el interés mostrado. Las aportaciones se hacen con tarjeta. Te enviamos el número de cuenta por mail para que puedas colaborar y atudes a rescatar la memoria de tu pequeño pueblo.

    Gracias por tu apoyo!

  • me han mandado hoy el correo, veo que ya hay mas de los 5000 euros iniciales, yo puedo dar 25. mandame el numero de cuenta para ingresar.

    Made by Manuel Merchán Tejero

    Hola Manuel, aunque ya se haya alcanzado el objetivo de financiación de los 5.000 euros, todavía se puede aportar desde la página de Verkami. El proyecto quedará abierto para aportaciones hasta el 5 de junio. Gracias por tu apoyo!

  • Buenas noches.Me gustaría aportar 25 eu. al proyecto. No tengo esas tarjetas de crédito. . Como seguro que tendrá éxito me gustaría que me facilitaseis un nº de cuenta donde hacer el ingreso.Chari.LAMICHARI@GMAIL.COM

    Made by CHARI

    Te enviamos el número de cuenta al mail que nos indicas. Gracias por tu apoyo!

  • queria aportar algo pero veo que no puede pagarse con paypal, el proyecto me parece interesante. gracies

    Made by juan carlos

    Hola, las aportaciones se hacen con tarjeta. Si seleccionas la aportación que te interesa de la columna a la derecha Verkami te marca los pasos para realizarla. Las transacciones se realizarán sólo si llegamos al objetivo de los 5000 en el plazo de 37 día a partir de hoy. Gracias por tu interés, contamos contigo!

  • Hola. Em podrien informar de si seria possible que, en cas que fes una aportació al projecte, no constés el meu nom com a micromecenes en els agraïments al web ni enlloc? Moltes gràcies.

    Made by rfort

    Hola, pots fer una aportació i renunciar a tenir el teu nom els crèdits del documental, aixó no es cap problema. Gracies per el teu interés!

If you want to know more, Ask a question.

The Portraitist

El Retratista

El Retratista

El Retratista

Raised €7,275
of €5,000
100% funded Conseguido!
A rural school in the Spanish republic of the '30s. A lost world through the eyes of children who are learning to write. The utopia of a teacher truncated by war and dictatorship. A documentary and a collective effort in memory of the victims of Franco's repression.
Un documental sobre la infancia y la libertad. La historia de una promesa truncada por la dictadura. Un relato olvidado que reaparece al otro lado del mar.
Una escola rural republicana dels anys '30. Un món perdut vist amb els ulls de nens que aprenen a escriure. La utopia d'un mestre truncada per la guerra i la dictadura. Un documental i un repte col·lectiu en memòria de les víctimes del repressió franquista.
Una scuola rurale nel cuore della Spagna repubblicana degli anni '30. Un mondo perduto visto con gli occhi di bambini che imparano a scrivere. L'utopia di un maestro d'avanguardia spezzata dalla guerra e dalla dittatura. Un documentario e un impresa collettiva in memoria delle vittime del franchismo

Thanks! This crowdfunding campaign ended on June 6, 2012.

 
  • Pledging €10
    NO MORE REWARDS LEFT

    Your name in the film credits

  • Pledging €25
    103 PATRONS

    Your name in film credits + 1 DVD

  • Pledging €40
    32 PATRONS

    Your name in film credits + 1 DVD + 1 original still by photographer Sergi Bernal (14x20cm)

  • Pledging €80
    19 PATRONS

    Your name in film credits + 1 DVD + 1 original still by photographer Sergi Bernal (20x30), signed by the author.

  • Pledging €150
    8 PATRONS

    Your name in film credits + 1 DVD + 1 original still by photographer Sergi Bernal (20x30), signed by the author + 1 facsimile of the leaflet "El Retratista" (the Portraitist, 1935) from the School of Bañuelos de Bureba.

  • Pledging €250
    2 PATRONS

    Your name in film credits + 1 DVD + 1 original still by photographer Sergi Bernal 50x70 or two 20x30, signed by the author + 2 facsimiles of the leaflets "El Retratista" and "El Mar" ("the Portraitist" and "the Sea", 1935) from the School of Bañuelos de Bureba.

  • Pledging €500
    0 PATRONS

    Your name in the film credits + 1 DVD + 1 original still by Sergi Bernal 50x70, or 2 stills 20x30 signed by the author + 2 facsimiles of the booklets from Bañuelos de Bureba's School ("El Retratista" and "El Mar", 1935-36) + copy of the photo book "Desenterrant el Silenci"

Thanks! This crowdfunding campaign ended on June 6, 2012.

 

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Project creator

Foto de alberto bougleux
alberto bougleux
Alberto Bougleux is documentary filmmaker with 10 years experience in direction and editing. Since 2001 he made documentaries on post-war transition in the Bosnia Herzegovina, on human rights in Maghreb (Morocco, Alge... Read more
alberto bougleux has 1 other projects in Verkami. You can find more information at http://www.verkami.com/projects/1385-el-retratista