School year 1934-35. The young teacher Antoni Benaiges takes office at the rural school of Bañuelos de Bureba, a tiny village in Burgos countryside, northern Spain.
Antoni has a simple project: he wants to teach his pupils to write and to be free. He also have a way through that: it’s the methodology of the printing press at school, invented by the French pedagogist Célestin Freinet for the French rural schools and recently imported in republican Spain.
With Antoni’s help, the kids easily learn how to print their own booklets, where they tell the life of a Spanish rural village in the ‘30s in an extremely fresh way and from their own point of view. The teacher also starts an exchange of booklets with other schools in Spain and abroad, and the texts written by the children from Bañuelos de Bureba travels up to France, Cuba, Argentina.
But the dreams come to and end very soon: in July 1936, in the early days of the Spanish Civil War, Antoni Benaiges was killed by the Franco’s partisans and buried in a mass grave. His memory and the legacy of Freinet’s methodology, eradicated at home, will appear again 75 years later in a another little school, on the other side of the ocean…
Spain, 2013 – ’52
Director, DoP, Editing: Alberto Bougleux
Subject & research: Sergi Bernal
Production: Alberto Bougleux & Sergi Bernal
Original Version: Spanish, Catalan
Subtitles: italian, English, Spanish
Screening format: DCP, Blue-ray
Project realized through a crowfunding, with 184 micro-mecenates
With the support of:
Ajuntament de S. Coloma de Gramenet, Ajuntament de Mont-roig del Camp, Ajuntament de Mataró, Memorial Democràtic de la Generalitat de Catalunya, ZaLab
DVD: Editorial Blume