250th anniversary docu-movie gets rave reviews at premiere | 07 December 2020
Historians, contributors, members of the 250th anniversary organising committee and invitees were on Friday treated to the first peek of the 250th anniversary documentary titled ‘A History of Seychelles from its origins to the present day’.
Screened at the Deepam Cinema on Friday evening, the hour-long documentary movie was produced and directed by James Dupres and his team, to be used as a promotional tool by the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) to market Seychelles as a destination.
As with the local history book on which it is based, the documentary is episodic in its account, beginning with a review of the time before recorded history, progressing through the period of settlement, to today.
It also highlights the nine contributing authors – Glynn Burridge, Tony Mathiot, William McAteer, Bernard Georges, Penda Choppy, Philippe Michaud, Bernard Shamlaye, Marie France Watson and Richard Touboul.
The movie and Dupres were met with applause and rave reviews by the end of the screening, with most in agreement that it did the book justice and provides a valuable document for scholars and lovers of history.
“I think it is terrific. Words can’t describe the movie. It is so good. The amount of time that went into researching everything, putting all the pictures together, getting all the filming done and writing the text, I mean this movie is wonderful,” raved contributor Bernard Georges.
Historian Tony Mathiot echoed similar sentiments, in stating that it reflects the work that the authors have put in, and that the content of the documentary is factually faithful to the book.
“And I think the documentary offers a delightful glimpse of what readers expect to see in a book. I’m happy it has lived up to my expectations,” Mr Mathiot added.
The book was commissioned early this year by the Seychelles government, in honour of the 250 years since the settlement of our islands. It was produced by local historians, with each of them writing a chapter. It comprises three or four different parts, about the French period, the British period, and also the modern era. It also explores sub-themes so it is a really interesting book which tells of our journey, the development of Seychelles over the 250 years.
“As you know, this year, a series of activities had been planned to really give importance to the historic moment for Seychelles, but with the pandemic, we couldn’t do so much. But the book is a tangible testament which outlines our history throughout the 250 years,” explained principal secretary for culture Cecile Kalebi.
“What we saw today, is an avant-gout of what you will see and read in the book to come. It can also be used as a tool to give people outside of Seychelles an experience on Seychelles, on our history, our people, on who we are. It is therefore another way to market Seychelles,” PS Kalebi added.
Accompanying the article are some screenshots taken from the movie.
Photos: Thomas Meriton