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Joann Sfar Draws from Memory. 2012. 
Added by: joachim (8/24/13, 9:08 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (8/21/15, 9:54 AM)
Resource type: Film
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Ball2012
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Categories: General
Keywords: Documentary film, France, Sfar. Joann
Creators: Ball
Publisher: Citizen Film
Views: 14/819
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Take a journey with award-winning graphic novelist Joann Sfar as he finds inspiration in his Algerian-Jewish heritage and the lively streets and cafes of his current home in France. Joann Sfar Draws from Memory sets the stage for viewers with a fun, ten-minute opening segment about the history and maturation of the art form. We start with the advent of comics at the turn of the 20th century, watch the “funnies” progress into a more literary means of expression in the 1940s and end with Sfar’s notoriety within the contemporary comic scene. The program then moves to a compelling portrait of Sfar as he draws the lived and imagined experiences of the Jewish Diaspora, and the everyday occurrences of his own, contemporary life.
Listening to Sfar express his compulsive desire to capture the human experience is truly a treat, and the blend of traditional and contemporary North African and European Jewish music adds to the magic. Sfar’s work is rich and moving, but he is also one of those rare talents equally capable of poetically articulating the nature of inspiration and the creative process itself. As a filmmaker and a foundational member of the ‘New Wave’ of the graphic novel, Sfar abandons conventions and crosses over genres, attracting a growing mainstream fan base to his intensely personal work.
Much of the film focuses on “The Rabbi’s Cat” (Random House/Pantheon), the book that brought Sfar to international recognition. The beautifully rendered graphic novel inspired by his Jewish-Algerian grandmother reached the top of France’s best-seller list ahead of any book of any genre, and Sfar’s first U.S. graphic novel release made The New York Times Best Seller list. His first feature film, “Gainsbourg” (Vie héroïque) (distributed by Music Box Films), received a César Award (the French Oscars). The adaptation of The Rabbi’s Cat, anticipated by some to be the next “Persepolis,” is currently in its festival run after winning the 2012 César Award for best animated feature.
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