An enthralling feature animation as Catalan artist and illustrator Josep Bartolí, escaping the Spain of Franco’s rising Fascist regime, finds himself in a French concentration camp.

An insightful portrayal, Bartoli is befriended by a young gendarme: some 50 years later, it is he who tells the story to his grandson as he lies dying in his Paris apartment. It’s a shocking tale of abuse and deprivation commonly associated, just a couple of years later, with Nazi Germany. Bartoli survives and eventually gains acclaim in New York where he published the acclaimed cartoon album La retirada which bears witness to life in the concentration camp.

Directed by award-winning cartoonist Aurel, these sketch-like evocative vignettes mirror Bartolí’s own style. It’s a poetic (and educative!) meditation on survival, memory – and art.

Rating: 70%


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