Josep is a moving tribute from one illustrator to another. The French cartoonist Aurel explores a painful chapter in French history through the life of the Catalan cartoonist and resistance fighter Josep Bartolí. During the Spanish Civil War, Bartolí fled to France, where he ended up in a concentration camp. In this prize-winning animation (EFA 2020 and César 2021), the story is told from the perspective of a fictional French gendarme, Serge, who befriends Bartolí.
Josep is the feature film debut of Aurélien Froment, best known as a political illustrator for Le Monde and the satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné, in which he publishes his work under the name Aurel. In this Prof Talk, we’ll discuss his tribute by matching different eras in the film with Bartolí’s graphic style at the time.
Froment and screenwriter Jean-Louis Milesi chose an indirect way to tell the story of Bartolí’s life, because they didn’t feel they could legitimately put themselves inside the mind of a Spanish refugee: ‘The French were not the victims during this civil war, so we don’t have the right to speak on behalf of the Spanish.’ Aurel therefore depicted Bartolí’s life on the basis of their shared vocation as illustrators. Bartolí’s drawings appear briefly in the film.
This French-Catalan co-production depicts the inhumane conditions in the refugee camps in France in 1939. Aurel will be attending this Prof Talk online, and the 1st assistant director and associate producer Juan Carlos Concha Riveros will be present in person. They will discuss the film itself, the successful and extraordinary cooperation between the two countries, and the process of producing an animation film.
Josep can be seen via Pathé Thuis. This programme is curated together with Kaboom Animation Festival.