At the start of the summer 2014, the artist and cultural historian Sonia Boué invited me to make a film about her work, based on her father’s story of exile and the man who saved him from Franco’s oppressive regime. The film is being shown in various locations, at conferences and events concerned with the Spanish Revolution and the work of the International Brigade.
“Without You I Would Not Exist is a film in tribute to a pacifist hero of the Spanish Civil War. In the Summer of 1939 Alec Wainman, an English Quaker, rescued 14 Spanish republican exiles from one of the infamous French internment camps at Le Barcarès. Among them was my father who, inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca, would later go on to write plays, which are now important examples of exile theatre.
“The film elegantly traces the origins of the tribute, overshadowed by the events of WW2, buried in the sands of Le Barcarès and silenced by Franco’s repressive regime – we hear for the first time this moving story of extreme altruism and sacrifice. Stepping inside my studio, video-artist Jonathan Moss has created an intimate portrait of me, my father and my muse. The story of one man’s deeply humanitarian response to another is here bathed in a poetic sensibility through the palpable empathy of the camera for it’s subject. Touching on the fragility of existence and the influence of chance, the film explores how one human act can generate ripples across time.”
Written by Sonia Boué
Produced, directed, filmed and edited by Jonathan Moss
Running time: 14’50”