A POEM IN EXILE

By Alba Gómez ESCUDERO

PUERTO RICO FILM COMMISSION - as FIN

Historical - Completed 2011

I could not part with the suitcase that contained all my treasures. It is upstairs and the poem is inside.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Historical, Documentary
    • Countries
    • PUERTO RICO, SPAIN
    • Languages
    • CATALAN, SPANISH
    • Duration
    • 95 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Alba Gómez ESCUDERO
    • Producer(s)
    • Márel Malaret BADRENA, Oriol Garcia FARRÉ
    • Synopsis
    • This is the story of a masterpiece created by four hands. It is the story of the friendship that made it possible. It is the story of a message of peace that went around the world. It is the story of a poem that became music. Just after the 50th anniversary of The Manger (1960-2010), Pau Casals’ most extraordinary composition, we want to narrate the unpublished story of this musical piece that was, in its origin, a poem written by the catalan poet, Joan Alavedra.
      After the Republican defeat in 1939, as a result of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), many catalan politicians, artists and intellectuals were forced into exile in France. The musician Pablo Casals and the poet Joan Alavedra were among them. This forced exile nourished a deep friendship between both men and a creative relationship that lead to the composition of The Manger. Joan Alavedra’s poem, dedicated to the birth of Christ, won an important poetry contest in Perpignan, France in 1943. Inspired by this, Casals decides to turn the poem into an oratorio. The piece acquires a double significance born of the pacifism and the political commitment of both men; on the one hand, it becomes a strong element of catalan identity, and on the other, a message of peace that will be universal.
      The composition of this musical piece, starts in France, and is finished in Puerto Rico, Pau Casals’ last place of exile. The premiere of The Manger took place in Acapulco, Mexico in 1960. It was then, taken around the world, performed at the United Nations on October 24, 1963 and chosen again by the United Nations to commemorate United Nations Day in 1967.
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