|CHEZ LES BASQUES|
Direction: Hubert Knapp
Production: Office National de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF)
Trained in television documentaries in the 1960’s, the Parisian, Hubert Knapp, travelled most of the geography of the Hexagon with an interesting formula he established to portray and capture a place with his camera, a formula which he called Les Croquis. One of them is based on the province of Soule or Zuberoa. Knapp, personal portraitist of Jean-Luc Godard and author of the chapter that the legendary Cinéastes de notre temps collection dedicated to the French-Swiss director, records his encounters with the people of this corner of the country, furthest away from the sea and the most deeply rooted idiosyncrasy. If Orson Welles is always in the street in his portrayal of the Basque people and Iosseliani manages to go inside and share the kitchen table with them, Hubert Knapp is the only one who attends the most intimate and private moment: the secret evening rehearsal of some shepherds dancing barefoot to pastoral songs and dances on the hay of a cowshed.
(Toulon, 1924, Toulon – París, 1995)
He started his career as an assistant director for one of the pioneers of television: Jacques Armand. After making some short films, he worked on the programme, Filmmakers of our Time, sketching the portrait of Jean-Luc Godard. In 1956, he participated in the Storytellers television series, highlighting the value of living memory and oral culture. Alongside his colleague, Jean-Claude Bringuier, he cultivated the subjective camera in the Les Croquis series, a documentary formula that they used to portray different regions of France. In 1962, he was named Best Director by the French Association of Film and Television Critics. He later produced the Sketches, Fresselines and Chronicles of France series.