This is what was needed. A man with a green heart.
Jean Giono, Joy of man’s desiring
CROWDFUNDING – CLICK HERE TO HELP US FINISH THIS FILM
I met Jean-Philippe in 2015. Starting then, and for over 2 years, I followed him almost everywhere and filmed him. He changed my way of looking at wine, at wine making and at country life itself.
Jean-Philippe doesn’t come from a wine making family, nor comes him from this corner of France. Nevertheless, he came to live in Calce, a small village, in the heart of the Roussillon region, to grow his vines and make wine.
They grew very close, this man and this land. Theirs is a story of encounter, of wonder; and of the possibility of making a living according to one’s beliefs and choices. Personally, I was enchanted by this story, and so decided to tell it.
THE IDEAS BEHIND THE FILM
Unlike other winegrowers who have inherited the profession (and the land) from their family, Jean-Philippe has not been immersed in this culture from early ages. He fell in love with wine, then viticulture, and, finally, with Calce. It was from this passion that emerged the decisions that changed the course of his life. He redefines himself from this land, from what he does with this land and what this land does to him.
A foreigner in this village, and in the wine-growing environment, Jean-Philippe had to build his own place and fight to keep it. It is this slightly offbeat place, and the privileged point of view that it gives him, that interested me and led met to make my film.
Calce’s nature is rough. The soil is stony and dry. The wind hits hard, sometimes very strong, and tears everything in its path. Water is lacking, and sometimes comes too violently. The sun is generous, vibrant; but in times of drought, it adds to the brutality of these lands.
And yet, Jean-Philippe manages to make delicate and subtle wines. He learned to extract the best from this environment. His journey and his reflections offer lessons on adversity and on the search for harmony in a chaotic world. Each bottle of wine holds a little message that he sends to the planet.
POINT OF VIEW
In the collected images, Jean-Philippe speaks very often; but he doesn’t speak alone, he talks to the camera, he talks to me. We’ve built a relationship of trust. He becomes comfortable in front of my camera, he tells me about his journey, he talks about his ideas, he digresses, he lets his imagination speak, his dreams speak. The film is gradually built up like a dialogue, growing slowly like a friendship.
Through discussions with Jean-Philippe, and the observation of his daily life, I try to understand the human, cultural and spiritual dimensions of the work of a winegrower as a farmer, peasant, craftsman.
Jean-Philippe always talks about the importance of observation in his work. He observes his vineyard, he observes the soil, and everything that surrounds them: the sky, the mountains, the animals, the wind. His wine is the result of this respectful observation. I learn with him to observe. I watch him and I film.
Along the process of shooting, I discovered many facets of his work: organic and biodynamics vine processing, pruning during winter, spring care, marketing of wine and the encounters that ensue.
This long-term observation strongly impregnated the structure of my film, built on recurring themes that will serve as a guide for the editing: his relationship with the surrounding nature, the originality of his decision-making process, his way of facing adversity.
The aesthetic choices
The beauty of the imperfection, the little flaws that become like marks of distinction, that can be seen in the trees, the fields, the old houses of the village, permeate the images. These imperfections make me think of wabi sabi, the Japanese concept of seeking beauty in what has been worn, broken and repaired, in what keeps the marks of the passage of time. I thus seek to reveal the beauty of a stump of dry vine, of an old stone wall, of small shy flowers which grow among the pebbles. And it helps me to explain a little more the way I look at my character.
Because Jean-Philippe, according to his entourage – the other winemakers, his family – is a bit of a poet. He’s always looking for beauty. Jean-Philippe must constantly fight against very concrete obstacles – a restrictive nature, administrative and financial difficulties; however, his solutions, his inspiration, he seeks in a passage of literature, or a piece of music.
He explains to me that he “longs for beauty”, a concept he borrows from a book by Jean Giono, Joy of man’s desiring, where the arrival of a providential man changes the life of a village, reintroducing the taste for beauty that had been lost. I see Jean-Philippe evolving in Calce and he reminds me of this man.
The film that takes shape in my imagination is thus, intimate and personal, in search of the beauty nestled in the everyday life, the work, the life of a man. This film is the witness of the almost imperceptible changes induced by the passage of time, in the life of Jean-Philippe and in my own life.
Crowdfunding – CLICK HERE TO HELP US FINISH THIS FILM
Jean Philippe chose his way of wine and life; he chose his profession and his place. He teaches us that it is possible to live according to his own choices, but not alone: he entrusted his story to our camera, and now we need your support to share it.
(Sorry, the crowdfunding website is French only, but you get an abstract here…)
What will the money collected be used for?
. Take additional shots
. Pay for music- and copy-rights
. Finish editing
. Pay for post-production (color-grading, sound mixing)
. Contribute to film distribution costs
Film release: winter 2020/2021
This film is a production of Violeta
10 euros – thanks in the credits at the end of the film
25 euros – access to the film’s distribution link + previous rewards
50 euros – corkscrew engraved with the title of the film + previous rewards
100 euros – t-shirt with film title + previous rewards
150 euros – bottle of Fleur de Cailloux with commemorative film label + previous rewards
400 euros – weekend in Calce, including: night for 2 people in the FaceB guest house, in the morning a walk in the vineyards, wine tasting in the cellar and a lunch for 2 people in the restaurant Le Presbytère accompanied by Jean -Philippe and the director of the film.
Objective: 6,000 euros
With the support of: