Edouard Chaulet Sees Full Picture of Life
In the South of France Department (about 300,000 residents) where Nimes is the largest town, there is a small village, an old historical village called Barjac. The home to about 1,500 permanent residents, and many more in the summer time, this could very well be the "Mouse that Roared."
Maybe it is because of his world perspective; his strong Communist roots, that gave Edouard Chaulet the insight to welcome to his village and home the well known documentary film maker Jean-Paul Jaud. In any case when Jaud was looking for a temporary home, he actually stayed for a full year, to film documentary that promotes the production and use of organic food, he settled in Barjac. No wonder, just spending a few days here, and you become part of the architecture of the village.
The film is now finished and Jaud is receiving strong support for the finished product. The next step will be distribution.
The film focuses on children and their parents. A very wise move!
"Nos Enfants Nous Qccuseront"
Jaud talks with local parents and their children as they are introduced to organic products in their local public school. Interestingly, the film starts out with an interview with Chaulet and the local priest. For those us not used to French priests clothing, he looks look any of his parishioners. He is in strong support of the organic movement, also! Barjac' children are divided about 50 to 50 in terms of attending public and Catholic schools.
The film goes over a full school year. Jaud was able to do his own scientific measure of success; and, it was a strong success.
City Hall Shines
At dinner, Edouard and his wife, Catherine, also a Barjac activist, both are original Barjac residents, described the new City Hall, that we saw first hand during the daytime.
It is housed in a historic landmark. There will be a new cinema (actually where the Jaud film was partially filmed) a great new modern library with free computers; performance space for dance; and a painting room with skylights.
The financing of the City Hall comes from the city, regional government and also the Department government.
Chaulet is clearly a very influential man.
Chaulet was just re-elected Mayor by a 70 to 30 margin. He is also Conseiller General. He is currently a candidate for the national Senate. In fact, he was a little late for dinner after attending an imporant regional meeting on the saving and improving of public services. They are fighting back from the smallest ares against Sarkozy's privatization, Euro Neo liberal policies.
Like in many municipalities where Communists are elected; and also Socialists; in the national election the same voters, unfortunately voted for the right; this time for Sarkozy; In that same election, Barjac the vote was 60 to 40 for the right for national president.
Like many Europeans of the left, US elections are a little mystery. But; Catherine and Edouard have a good take on them. They see the Republican and Democratic parties similar to the French UMP (Sarkozy's right party) and the Socialist Party. And just as they opposed Sarkozy in the recent French elections and sided with Sigoline Royal, they can see the same for opposition to McCain and support for Obama.
But; they worry, that Sarah Palin has a direct appeal to people "who are like her." A mother with 5 kids, a worker for a husband, etc. They understand her appeal.
They clearly follow the US elections closely, like most everyone else does.
Edouard and Catherine invite people from the States to visit Barjac and the region. Be sure to stop by the City Hall to say hello.