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SYNOPSIS

Alma, age 26, knows that her death sentence has merely been suspended. In Guatemala, a country undermined by violence, there are eighteen murders a day. Alma is typical of her generation, youths who grew up in a world where laws and justice were flouted with impunity. Families mired in poverty, despair, and alcoholism destroy each other in gang warfare that has become an ordinary way of life – and death.

For five years, Alma belonged to one of the most violent of the Guatemala City maras, or gangs. She has committed murder, battery, and brutality. Brutalized herself, she has been jailed many times.


She was sentenced to death by her “homies” the day she wanted to quit the gang.

Yet she survived the bullets. Although she will never walk again, she is striving to rebuild her life.

An ex-criminal, a victim of her surroundings, a young woman in search of redemption… Alma is all of these, at once.

She chose to tell her story to Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère.

THE AUTHOR- FILMMAKERS

Miquel Dewever-Plana

Miquel became a photographer in the 1990s and is a member of Agence VU’. His first photo-stories, on Maya Indian communities, were shot in Guatemala, a country he has been traveling for over 15 years.

Next, he turned to documenting the consequences of the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War. He camped with the guerrillas, shared the refugees’ daily life, and recorded testimony from the families of victims of the genocide carried out by Guatemalan Army regulars.
Since 2007, Miquel Dewever-Plana has been photographing the endemic violence plaguing Guatemala, the gang wars and widespread corruption. He met Alma in 2008, and was inspired to help her make a confession.

Isabelle Fougère

Isabelle has been working as a journalist and author since 1991. Her stories on human rights, women, migrants, and economic development are regularly published in both the French press and abroad (Géo, Marie-France, Figaro Magazine, Grazia, VSD, Photo Magazine, etc.).
Between 2001 and 2002, she co-directed “Euroland,” a series of documentaries about Europe for Italian television. Two years later, she published Odyssée Moderne, voyage aver les migrants clandestine, du Sahara à la Grande Bleue (Editions Images En Manœuvres), the story of her crossing the Sahara with African migrants bound for Europe.
Isabelle also writes books for children, and founded an international photojournalism prize 12 years ago, at the Perpignan Visa pour l’Image Festival.
Three years ago, she began working with Miquel on recording Alma’s story.

“Alma is part of our lives, and we are part of hers.”


Read the full interview with Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère

ILLUSTRATOR

Hugues Micol

A graduate of the École Supérieure des Arts Graphiques de Paris, Hugues has published several comic books that have been acclaimed by critics and received several awards. For “Alma, A Tale of Violence,” he imagined a whole series of drawings in felt-tip pen and paint reflecting the young woman’s story.

EDITOR

Lydia Decobert

Since 2001, Lydia has been cutting digital video, both documentary and fiction, short, medium, and feature-length. Her work on “Alma” involved immersing herself in two worlds, that of Alma and that of Miquel’s photographs, to understand their codes and interweave the two levels of the documentary.


THE MUSICIAN

Greg Corsaro

A composer and sound editor, Greg Corsaro has been making soundtracks for documentary and fiction films for over fifteen years. On “Alma,” he wove and intermingled on- and off-camera sound and music to add detail to the story and extend its frontiers, prolonging and amplifying the multiple interpretations.

The producers

Contact

Our partners

  • taz.die.tageszeitung

  • France Info

  • Telerama.fr

  • Rue89

    Launched in 2007, Rue89 is an independent, participative online news source combining reports from experts, internauts, and journalists. Since its founding, the site has supported innovative treatments like the web-documentary.

    In the approach Miquel Dewever-Plana and Isabelle Fougère adopted to the making of "Alma", we especially appreciate the deliberation given to both content and form. They demonstrate a will to tackle a first-person story about a difficult subject without sensationalism or false modesty. Human psychology, in all its subtleties and ambiguities, is at the heart of Alma’s statement.

  • Le bec en l'air éditions Blume

    Blume (Barcelona, Spain) and Le Bec en l’Air (Marseille, France) began publishing Miquel Dewever-Plana’s work several years ago. Both houses have based their editorial line on photography as a tool for understanding the world. For this co-publishing venture, they have made a commitment to the publication of two books: L’Autre Guerre, the product of Miquel Dewever-Plana’s five-year photographic exploration of the phenomenon of violence in Guatemala, and Alma, a fictionalized literary narrative by Isabelle Fougère, offering fresh insight into the young woman’s life.

  • Fnac

    For over 50 years, driven by its founders’ passion for photography, the Fnac has been pioneering a truly innovative policy for the distribution and promotion of the art of photography in its chain of retail stores. The Fnac’s involvement in the Alma project will include a traveling exhibition of Miquel Dewever-Plana’s photographs and Hugues Micol’s drawings and a free public lecture in Paris by a panel of the various contributors to the project. It will also make all of its communications tools available.

    “We are committed to Alma with all the strength we draw from our brand and the conviction that it is essential to reach out to the general public with this woman’s testimonial about her struggle.”

Credits

  • Alma, A Tale of Violence

  • A WEB-DOCUMENTARY BY


    Miquel Dewever-Plana & Isabelle Fougère

  • CO-PRODUCED BY

    Arte, Upian & Agence VU’

  • PRODUCED BY

    • Alexandre Brachet (Upian)
    • Margaux Missika (Upian)
    • Gregory Trowbridge (Upian)
  • CO-PRODUCED BY

    Patrick Codomier (VU’)

  • ART DIRECTOR

    Sébastien Brothier

  • PHOTOGRAPHS AND VIDEOS


    Miquel Dewever-Plana

  • TEXTS/INTERVIEW

    Isabelle Fougère

  • ILLUSTRATIONS


    Hugues Micol

  • VIDEO EDITING

    Lydia Decobert
    assisted by Mélanie Brun

  • ORIGINAL MUSIC

    Grégory Corsaro

  • ANIMATION

    Jérôme Gonçalvès
    With the help of Fred Bourgeais

  • SOUND ENGINEER

    Gregory Le Maître

  • FLASH DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION

    David Després

  • FLASH DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION

    Maxime Quintard

  • SOUND DESIGN & MIXING


    Grégory Corsaro

  • CALIBRATION

    Hugo Tarsiguel

  • PRODUCTION COORDINATORS

    Camille Lacharmoise & Anne Tamisier

  • EDITORIAL ADVISOR

    Eric Drier

  • TABLET DEVELOPMENT

    Fabien Monchatre, David Després & Maxime Quintard

  • ADAPTATION

    • Nice Fellow
    • Anita Conrade
    • Carolin Krüger
    • Oriane Charpantier
    • Lidia Garcia de Vicuña
  • ADDITIONAL MUSIC

    Saraguate – La calle

  • ARCHIVES

    © Miquel Dewever-Plana/ VU’

    “La vérité sous la terre” (La verdad bajo la tierra) and "Mayas" published by Blume

  • EQUIPMENT RENTAL

    • Carlos Estuardos Gonzales Garcia
    • Tigre production
    • CTM Solutions
  • ACCOUNTANTS

    CRED

  • ARTE FRANCE

    • Marie-Laure Lesage
    • David Carzon
    • Marianne Lévy-Leblond
    • Alexander Knetig
    • Nathalie Verdier
    • Marie Chevalier
    • Anne Pradel
    • Jérôme Vernet
  • Agence VU’

    • Patrick Codomier
    • Anne-Lore Mesnage
    • Laetitia Ganaye
    • Eric Larrouil
    • Bernadette Sabathier
  • IN COMPLICITY WITH

    Le Bec en l’air

    • Fabienne Pavia
    • Dominique Herbert
    • Fabien Vidotto
    • Antoine Bertrand
    • Alba-Marina Escalon

    Blume

    • Leopoldo Blume
    • Cristina Rodríguez Fischer

    FNAC

    • Marion Hislen
    • Marion Salemkour
    • Julie Henry

    Canon

    • Mike Owen / (Canon Europe)
    • Kieran Magee / (Canon Europe)
    • Pascal Briard / (Canon France)
  • THE AUTHOR-FILMMAKERS WISH TO THANK


    Alma, and her family, for their trust and courage


    But also:
    Agnes Bernzen, Jean-Luc Betoulle, Blanca Blanco, Odile Bourreau, Alejandro Byron, Jokerin Byron, Rubio Caballeros, Guevara Cabrera, Armelle Canitrot, Marco Antonio, Canteo Patzan, Gustavo Cifuentes, Julio Coyoy, Wilson Davila Lopez, Pauline David, Cesar Diaz, Cyril Drouhet, Gabriela Estrada, Aida Fernandez, Zoel Franco Chen, Maria Teresa Gaitan, Aurore Goujon, Jean-Baptiste Henimann, Chus Hernandez, Adèle Keil, Romain Lacroix, Catherine Lalanne, Laura Lanuza, Delphine Lelu, Jean-François Leroy, Miguel Angel Lopez Guerra, José Meda, Juan Carlos Molina, Ruby Monzon Soto, Lombardo Morales, Sheny Morales, Jamie Penney, Eugene Richard, Martina Richard, Cristina Rodriguez Fischer, Mina Rouhaba, Kathy Ryan, Marc Simon, Dr Fernando Solares, Aidan Sullivan, Elubia Velasquez, Jorge Velasquez, Philippe Voisin, Jamie Wellford

  • WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO


    Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography, TROCAIRE, DED, HEKS, Sobrevivientes, Hospital San Juan de Dios, Ministerio Pubkico de Guatemala, Éditions Bec en l’air, Éditions Blume, CONACMI

  • UPIAN THANKS


    Philippe Brault, Estelle Jaille, Pia Valentie, Frédéric Jamain & Nicolas Pelloille-Oudart, Fabien Leroy, Emilie Arlet

  • WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO


    Nicolas Menet, Thomas Deyriès, Karim Moreau, Olivier Hoffschir, Fabien Streit, Chloé Mulhemmann, Emmanuel Durgoni, Angélique Bidault, Mathieu Chapuis, Laurent Cairoli, Franck Duval, Joël Ronez

  • PRODUCED BY

    • Arte
    • Upian
    • Agence Vu'
  • With participation from the

    CNC'

  • Supported by the

    TFI New Media Fund and the Ford Foundation

    Tribeca Film Institute'

  • Development grant by

    Worldview

  • ©2012 – http://alma.arte.tv