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Forty years after the end of Franco’s dictatorship, Catalans of all backgrounds are mobilizing to hold a self-determination referendum despite Spain’s refusal to countenance it. As they openly engage in disobedience, Catalans face growing repression with a smile.

Director Statement

As a French speaking Canadian born in the mid 70s, my personality was deeply influenced by the prevailing political context of my youth, between the 1980 Quebec self-determination referendum and the one of 1995, amid constitutional negotiations between Canada and Quebec, the failures of the Meech Lake (1988) and Charlottetown (1992) Accords. Political instability and questions of belonging to one nation or another have shaped the man I've become. So when the holding of a self-determination referendum in Catalonia was announced, it immediately drew my attention. I recognized in the Catalan context what I myself had known all my youth. I felt the duty to show the world how Catalans would deal with it.

When I first looked into what was going on in Catalonia, around 2006, what shocked me was how radically different the perspectives were, whether I read Spanish or Catalan papers. From a Spanish perspective, I often read Catalonia wanted to isolate itself, to close its borders, to reject the European Union, which was completely opposite when looking at it from the Catalan point of view. From afar, in Canada, we would often hear from journalists based in Madrid, generally picturing the Catalan aspirations as somewhat illegitimate. As a native French speaker, reading about it in French medias wasn't any different.

So I learned Catalan in order to eliminate the almost unavoidable intermediary of Spanish when looking into the matter from the outside.

With this documentary, I give an exclusively Catalan point of view on the matter.
Alexandre Chartrand
Alexandre Chartrand
Philippe-A. Allard, Alexandre Chartrand, Éric Piccoli, Marco Franscarelli, Félix Rose
87 Minutes
Montreal, Canada
Watch the Trailer
1/26/20 2:00pm at Lafayette Public Library South Regional Branch
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