‘To the Four Winds’, a documentary about the real meaning of ‘fraternity’

Michael Toesca

26/10/2018 – On Friday 26th October, the documentary To the Four Winds by Michel Toesca was screened in the Time of History section. The film tells the story of Cédric Herrou, a farmer from La Roya, a valley in the south of France. One day he comes across some refugees and, along with other residents, decides to take them in and help them to seek asylum.

The story drew the attention of French filmmaker Michel Toesca, an old friend of the farmer and a resident of the area. The director therefore decided to make a documentary following Herrou for three years, depicting his story and that of many others. After the screening of the feature film premiere at Seminci, the director spoke about his film and the migration situation in France and Europe. 

“In this area, there are many more people who also take in refugees, but I was obliged to choose only one, so I chose Cédric, who is a friend of mine as well as a good actor”, commented the French director. Toesca also explained that his film focuses on the reception of refugees, a battle which “hasn’t yet been won” for those who seek to help.

The French director added that during the filming process, he had problems with a number of nationalist groups, saying that they hold ideas which are “increasingly widespread”. “We encountered people from the French National Front at some points in the process, and in some European countries there were attempts to ban the film”, the director explained. 

During the discussion, he also spoke about the current situation of refugees in France and in Italy. The director considers that in both countries, the laws are increasingly “harsh”, adding that they were also “hypocritical” in his country of origin. “Macron says that he applies the slogan ‘Equality, liberty and fraternity’, but that’s not the case, as he doesn’t respect the ‘fraternity’ part”, Toesca commented. 

Finally, the director emphasised the “naivety” of certain people who believe everything they see on television. This is reflected both in the film and in the testimony of a young refugee who claims to have discovered the social and political situation in France through the television programmes he watched at home.

Mother & Baby

Prior to the screening of the feature film, the short documentary Mother & Baby by Mia Mullarkey was shown. The project presents part of the dark history of Ireland between 1904 and 1996, when the church kept children born out of wedlock in centres where a variety of atrocities were committed.

Posted in 63rd Seminci.