Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd – Le cercle des noyés (2007)


The word protected, the words embodied

Essay from the booklet:
This film was born out of the encounter with a man, Fara Bâ. He wanted to testify in order not to forget those who were political prisoners at the fort of Ouatala ten years before, for having opposed the racial segregation they suffered as black people. Many of his companions died there. It is the testimonies of these former prisoners, those who survived prison, which Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd is going to collect over a ten-year period, without any camera. When it became necessary to make a film out of this, upon the request of Fara Bâ, only the words mattered. The film was to be constructed on the narrative of these years of detention, a narrative co-written with the film-maker on the basis of the testimonies of the group of survivors. Fara Ba is their spokesperson. His voice is the one which tells and it overshadows that of the film-maker whose presence vanishes for the duration of a film. The starting point is this encounter and not an intention or vision of the film-maker. The necessity of tt1e film does not come from him at first. The images are claimed by the narrative, told by the man’s voice, “spokesvoice” for his companions. Continue reading