Currently in post-production, the heartfelt and gritty documentary “Le Carrefour” shines a bright light on the intersection of past and present immigrant realities brought together by French. The documentary received the first ever Maine Heritage Film Grant from TV5Monde and the Points North Institute as well as a grant from the Maine Humanities Council. Le Carrefour has been chosen for the Camden International Film Festival to be held Sept. 16-19.
The film tells the story of Cécile, a Franco-American woman in her mid-60s, as she reconnects with the French language and culture of her childhood thanks to Trésor, a Congolese asylum seeker and aspiring actor. The marvel of this unexpected relationship takes place in Cécile’s hometown of Lewiston. Cécile’s Franco roots tie her to the tens of thousands of French-Canadians who came before her to power the mills of New England, and who suffered from decades of discrimination and oppression. Will history repeat itself for newly arrived Africans as white supremacists rally against their presence here? The friendship of Cécile and Trésor and the developing union of their two communities, black and white, in their rust belt mill town, give hope for a revival of what’s best in America.
Bangor native, professor, and French language advocate Jessamine Irwin and documentary filmmaker Daniel Quintanilla are Co-Directors of Le Carrefour/The Intersection. The film’s title encapsulates the struggle to find pride in being Franco-American and Franco-African in the U.S. today.