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Gille à Pont

The carnival character of Gille first saw the light of day in the 16th century, when the inhabitants of Binche (Belgium) celebrated, all dressed up, the visit of the emperor Charles V, a visit that coincided with the Spanish conquest of the Indigenous Americans and the Inca civilisation. A tradition that has been continued and now includes even the North of France. This is a chronicle of Pont-sur-Sambre, a small workers’ commune, at the time of preparing the carnival.

In Binche, the first Gille were the town dignitaries. The carnival of Pont-sur-Sambre is first and foremost a workers’ festival. Nineteen years ago, Alain and Josiane, garage owners, founded the Société des Gilles. The association mainly federates people in difficulty for whom the parade is an important moment of reintegration into society. All the members of the families enrolled are asked to help prepare or participate in the parade. Nadine and six of her seven children are part of the group. Such solidarity was of great help to her at a hard time in her life: “It takes away all that’s bad in us”. And it’s with pride that everyone, sporting their feathered hat, wears the famous multi-coloured costume to amuse passers-by and put a smile on children’s faces. In a region with a very high unemployment rate, “instilling the joy of life” is an effective way to beat despair.

Deloeuil, Christian

Director, cinematographer

Gille à Pont

Artistic direction / Conception : Christian Deloeuil (réalisation)

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Mat films, C9 Télévision (Lille), C9 Télévision (Lille), CNC, DMDTS - Direction de la Musique, de la Danse, du Théâtre et du Spectacle

Duration : 55'

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