Le Saphir de Saint Louis

Le Saphir affiche

A film by José Luis Guerin

Documentary essay / 35 min / 2015

This film was originally commissioned by the La Rochelle film festival, to relate to the Cathedral of this historical port city of western France.
But José Luis Guerin considered this commission only as a starting point, and he chose to focus on an ex-voto painting located in a chapel of the Cathedral, that witnesses the tragedy of the “Saphir” in 1741. This slave schooner was becalmed for days and days in inter-tropical waters, with 271 slaves and 30 crewmembers on board. This little painting is like a secret door in a Cathedral that opens on to the great History…

A film written and directed by José Luis Guerin / Produced by Gaëlle Jones – Perspective Films – and the La Rochelle International Film Festival / With the support of the DRAC Poitou-Charentes (Service territorial de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine 17), of the CNC, Ciné+ channel, the Poitou-Charentes Region, the city of La Rochelle and the Ramon Llull Institut / With the collaboration of the Diocese of La Rochelle/Saintes, the Intermondes Center and the Merleau Ponty de Rochefort highschool / Distribution in the USA and Canada Grasshopper films / Distribution in Japan Mermaid films

Festivals :

  • Festival Internacional de cine independiente de La Plata Festifreak – October 2016
  • Hiroshima International Film Festival, Japan – November 2016
  • Belo Horizonte International Short films Festival, Brazil – August 2016
  • Huesca Internacional Cinema Festival, Spain – June 2016
  • EDOC Ecuador Festival – May 2016
  • Punto de Vista Festival, Pamplona, Spain – February 2016
  • Human Rights Film Festival, Zagreb, Croatia – December 2015
  • Cali Cinema Festival, Colombia – October 2015
  • Milano Design Film Festival, Italy – October 2015
  • Corsicadoc Festival, France – October 2015
  • Doc Lisboa Festival, Portugal – October 2015
  • Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland – August 2015
  • La Rochelle International Film Festival, France – July 2015

Narrator André Wilms

Starring Philippe Garreau et les lycéens Olivia, Célia, Mathilde, Eva, Tommy, Robin, Charly

Director’s assistant  Kiowa Le Clec’h / Image Nicolas Contant, Olivier Jacquin / Sound Benoît Perraud and Marisol Nievas / Editing  Nuria Esquerra / Key grip Alain Dahan / Production management  Anne-Charlotte Girault and Gaëlle Jones

Music : “Isadora y Los Piratas” composed by Jorge Arriagada

Broadcast : Ciné + (France)