Saturday, January 30, 2016

Joe D'Arcy Talks About His Film, 'I Am A Pencil'

Joe D'Arcy

The following is a director's statement about his film, I Am A Pencil, set to screen at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on February 9-10, 2016. 

Joe D’Arcy is the writer, director and producer of I am a Pencil (Je suis un Crayon). This film was inspired by the three million people who marched through France on January 11, 2015 in support of peace, unity and freedom of expression after the Charlie Hebdo murders. 

As I watched this unfold from the other side of the world it was evident that this was not, “just another news story. I was struck by the courage of the people from the many differing backgrounds and religions who expressed solidarity and marched collectively, defiantly, and as a unified nation of people.

Since the brutal attack on the members of Charlie Hebdo, there has been a lot of debate on 'freedom of expression' and 'the right to express' versus the rights of others who may be offended by this expression. 

Although the right to express ourselves is vital to our ongoing development as people, 'human expression' has little to do with 'rights' or 'freedom'. Expression for human beings is an innate drive and will occur whether we have been granted the 'rights' or the 'freedom' to express or not. Human beings have found ways to express themselves throughout their existence, from early cave paintings through to contemporary graffiti. Prisoners have scratched the walls of their captors with words or images under the most repressive and punitive conditions.
Expression will always occur.

Some of us are inspired to write or draw when experiencing beauty, others are driven to express when life is ironic or funny and others are driven to express in the face of hypocrisy. Like the pencil in Je suis un Crayon, we express our experience of the world 'as it is' and just as importantly we express our experience of the world as 'we see it'.

Although putting this film together took many months for our small and dedicated team, I am very happy with the result and it is my hope that anyone with five minutes spare, will take the opportunity to enjoy it. 

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