Frida Kahlo and Bartolì, the conflicts of 1939 in a cartoon-

from Paolo Baldini

The animated film by the illustrator Aurel (Aurelien Froment), born in 1980, also a noble reflection on commitment, resistance, exile, fidelity to ideals

Do you have something to light up ?, asks Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter of many revolutions, to Josep Bartol, Catalan anti-Franco designer and cartoonist. He does it in a dream in the French refugee camp where Bartol (1910-1995) was interned. He really does this in postwar Mexico where Bartol operated before flying to New York. All of this Josep, first animated film by the illustrator Aurel (Aurelien Froment), born in 1980, collaborator of The world e The Enchan Duck.

Winner of many awards, praised in Cannes, Josep comes out at the cinema on the 30th, 31
August and September 1 distributed in Italy by Lumire & Co. and Anteo. Scripted by Jean-Louis Milesi, the story of a friendship that matures in an emergency situation. Between Serge, a good-hearted gendarme, and the rebellious designer who is desperate for his pregnant girlfriend Maria, who remained in Barcelona after the fall.

We are in February 1939. Thousands of Spanish republicans
they pass the frontier to escape from Franco’s dictatorship. The French government confines refugees just beyond Perpignan, with zero water, food and hygiene. Barbed wire divides men and women from outside and inside the camp: the guards, refugees and even French soldiers from the African colonies. A hell of abuse, injustice, intolerance.

Josep draws the horror, including the death of his anarchist friend Helios which will enter its best production. The story told, many years later, by Serge near death to his teenage grandson. Aurel explains: I discovered Bartol’s works by accident. I was struck by the cover of the book that Georges Bartol dedicated to Uncle Josep: the drawing of a Spanish republican slumped on crutches, dying. Exceptional.

The film is an indictment of French bad conscience and everything the world
in the face of the Nazi threat but also reflects the present of migratory flows, migrants at the gates of the West and reception capacity. Aurel attracted by drawing, Bartol’s sketches-reportages which are the only weapon against dictatorship and obscurantism. Yes, this is the real subject of the film. I claim the power of drawing to relate what a real image fails to relate.

The two-dimensional pencil line, strongly engraved is the dominant one. A pact with the viewer: the colors are reduced to the essentials, they provide support without imposing themselves on the eye. But the film is also a noble reflection on commitment, resistance, exile, fidelity to ideals. Fears that in an era of uncertainty it is right to reiterate and underline.

August 24, 2021 (change August 24, 2021 | 21:10)


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick