Was I crazy to produce this docufilm?
“You left your good job at EWTN TV. You’ve been poor since then.”
Yes, I was not prudent. I was dumb. I have always been dumb. Since production started 4 years ago, I have been on the road. I have begged for housing, every 2 months in another home. But I did not really care. I was excited about a creation.
With The Hidden Rebellion, I guess that I have once more marched for an almost lost cause, but I had fun all along. My father would say: “If you want a big motorcycle, get a job where you need a motorcycle”. Years later, I had a gig as a journalist in the Alps and I rode a motorcycle in the mountains.
In attempting this independent production, It looks like I did not think for the long term regarding this life. But for the very long term, and for the good of our countries, I think I did.
When I came to America, I felt that half of France had become decadent and maybe degenerate. Like Rome in its last days. I thought something had to be done and it would be easier from America.
After getting a Master in Thomas Aquinas Philosophy, after doing my obligatory time in the Army, I came here. Now I am an American citizen. As a sort of joke I say that I came here for the smile. The great smile I could see in the American news and movies. And I mostly found that smile.
But beyond the joke, I think that the positive attitude found here speaks of the Christian spirit still present in this country (even in the worst anti-Christian American states). A spirit that has not been broken like the French Revolution and the centuries that followed broke.
How can you smile in an atheist country, if, for the last 10 generations your family has not believed in a loving God? Where do you go? How do you face life’s hardship? Either you become decadent or you become stoic. But you do not flourish. That was the case with my paternal family. I think they were on the stoic side.
America was to me also smiling because of a more free economy. This system, which in my opinion is the true life, allows people to be at the command of their own life. How can you smile in socialist France where most of your attention is given to what the state allows or does not allow you to do? It’s like a golden prison.
You add to that the tyrannical political correctness, which is of course twice as oppressive in Europe, and you start to take sleeping pills. France is one of the biggest consumers per capita of sleeping pills. Once you are caught in that system, you can’t help. It’s in the DNA of the collectivist system.
Once God has disappeared, or, the natural order is thrown out of the window, you put all your devotion into the State. The State is the solution to everything. Then, that state has to micromanage everything. Then you lose the command of your life and your dreams. And you take the sleeping pills.
That is what I try to show in my docufilm. That is what I try to help preserve in America.
Truly, the result of that, is that when I pass the customs and re-enter America, I feel ten pounds lighter.
SO PEOPLE SAY HOW DID YOU DARE TO PRODUCE ON YOUR OWN?
A journalist said: your Hidden Rebellion has the quality of a big studio production but you work with barely 2 crew members at a time. My answer was: maybe it’s the motorcycle in the mountains. For an apparently lost cause, if nobody takes the stand, you go on on your own. Or you go with God.
But little by little, people notice the work and give it a hand. In France, a church lent me an old van for two months. A family in Paris lodged me in their living room. And as the emigrant that I am, there is only one way to go: it’s forward.
By the way, If you are an emigrant (especially a “privileged emigrant” like me), you continue, in your new country, the adventure that you started when you arrived.
Maybe I will open for you a window into the mind of an emigrant. In this mind, everything is new, everything is exciting. Never feel bad for most emigrants who appear to have a harder life than you. Your grand-parents did this too. And that made you and your country happy.
Most emigrants are here because they have a better situation than at home. For me, being French, it is harder materially, but it is easier mentally. Here, righteousness is more rewarded. Look at most films produced in France. Most of them reward the lukewarm, the cynic, the depraved. You feel dirty after you have watched them. And we are starting to get that in America with Netflix. Look at their series called Breaking Bad. It’s to the glory of a brutal methamphetamine “educator” who thinks he is dying.
One solution: watch films on Vidangel where they offer filters to keep the trash out. Let’s hope they win the lawsuit by the Big Studios. Or look at my Hidden Rebellion. A friend said that each time she feels lukewarm, she watches the docufilm again and is right up again in spirit.
AND YOU LEFT YOUR JOB 18 YEARS AT EWTN TV FOR WHAT?
I think I had reached a ceiling at EWTN. There was this subject of the Vendee Rebellion in front of me. This rebellion of a people in Vendee against the revolutionaries in Paris. It was going to be re-written by an American team. What would you say if a Russian who had never been to the USA was going to make a documentary about Slavery in America? I thought that as the Franco American in the bunch, I had to step up and produce it on my own. I could not drop the ball and betray the story about how the true God had guided my people.
So I left and people said I was crazy. But there is a secret weapon anybody can use: a spirit of poverty. I have been used to very little. I grew up in a tiny apartment with 3 brothers and 1 sister. The military Christian eagle scouting I did was wild. Even the Army was easy afterwards. We’d be 12 and lost at night on the snowy plateaus of the Alps with a compass and no food. Life can only get better from there.
I am not saying that having a place to come home to in Los Angeles would not be beneficial for this production. But for now, that’s what it takes. The industry does not pay the creators much. Even less if they work for conservative causes. It would be up to the conservative population to support the films that it wanted. They do that for Dinesh. May God bless this other emigrant who is doing so much for this country.
WHY DID YOU PRODUCE “THE HIDDEN REBELLION”?
It was better that than driving a bus. I prefer to be poor and a producer. And maybe one day will there be a full theatrical feature film.
The war of the ages between light and darkness is not fought with guns but with ideas, with novels, with art, with films. And first, I say, with the Grace of God.
There are different views of the world out there. Very different. We must wake up to that. The war starts in the universities where right now, many professors hate the Christian Western civilization and brainwash young minds. I say it is an abuse of the souls. Those professors are abusers. They should lose their tenure for this. They are not educators but propagandists. We are not paying them for that.
IS IT A FIGHT FOR A LOST CAUSE?
“There is no lost cause, because there is no gained cause.” said T.S. Elliot. Everything can change one way or another. The Roman Empire had centuries of reprieve. But it took centuries to go up or to go down. We have to work for the centuries. Ideas in book, songs and movies do that. The Church sculptors sculpted stone gargoyles on the 10 floors of Cathedrals that Japanese contemplate today.
Anyway, living for great causes and the very long term is extremely invigorating. You do not bother about apparent temporary failures. You work with devotion but detachment in a vineyard that is not yours.
And it is very tangible to me. There is no dogmatism in this stand. The old Christian French people were decimated by the proto Liberals-socialist-communists of the French Revolution. This has been hidden. This is unjust and this injustice is still at work today in France and now it is spilling over to America. Look at how Christian students are persecuted on most American campuses.
I hope that the story that I tell, of the Vendean family trying to survive the Reign of Terror, shows the persecution and shows the spiritual resistance to it.
In America, you need that story if you are a parent that cares for the soul of your children, and you see that the “educators” are telling your boy to try to be a girl. The French Revolutionaries and the culture elite in America are telling the children, bypassing the parents, to turn their back on the wisdom of ages. This could hurt those children terribly.
In America, you need The Hidden Rebellion if you are a poor person that succeeded at last to “own” a house. If you try to rent a room, you may be stuck with a tenant who doesn’t pay the rent for six months. And the law protects him more than you. So basically, the Revolutionaries and the culture elite in America are confiscating the housing of good people. Since the French Revolution, churches in France are still owned by the government.
All that mentality of jealousy and tyranny to change people started with a big bang during the French Revolution. This Revolution was almost the opposite of the American Revolution. That French Revolution was of a centralized Paris government wanting to flush Christian civilization out of France and apparently, it almost succeeded. The American Revolution was the opposite. It was about a decentralized population cultivating its personal “garden of life” and living out its Christian faith.
HOW DID YOUR INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION STARTED?
I flushed my meager retirement and I went on the road. As I went, I continued to raise money. When I landed in France, at my family home, I went in the basement, and I did another video clip. The luggage was behind me, the old boxes of 10 years ago where I found old clothes to go on. That video clip in the French basement raised a little more from people in France. And since then, month after month, I have begged people of good will to get behind this production. They can still do so today. It’s their production. Now, I need help to distribute it. It is very expensive to me. It’s a “give us our daily bread” situation. If people want it, it will end up on Netflix and maybe even at Walmart. And then, what a victory for the truth …