Director: Fredo Valla, Production Company: Incandenza film, Chambra d’Oc is realized with the support of Film Commission Torino Piemonte – Piemonte Doc Film Fund, Italy, Languages: French/Italian/Occitan/Bulgarian,3h 16′ (200′), 2020, Rights: World
BOGRE – the great European heresy a documentary film by Fredo Valla. Bogre is a road-movie in the footsteps of the Cathars and Bogomils, heretics of the 10th-15th centuries, a Christian neo-Gnostic or dualist sect founded in the First Bulgarian Empire by the priest Bogomil in the 10th century. Shot in Italy, South of France, Bulgaria and Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia. The director and his crew make a trip from Bulgaria to the Pyrenees in search of cultural and religious relations between two great spiritual and social movements that questioned the authority and power of the dominant Church, proposing itself as “the true Church”. Bogre tells of a medieval world that only at first glance seems far from our time. The film reflects on the freedom of thought and faith: it is a heretic who affirms the right or duty to choose according to conscience, even the source of the word points to this as in Greek haìresis means choice.
Between the 10th-15th centuries, a different idea of God spread on European soil, from the Balkans to the West. It came from the East. Its adepts proclaimed themselves the true Church of Christ, an alternative to the corrupt official churches of Rome and Constantinople, which had become centres of power. In Bulgaria they called them Bogomìli; in France Catari, Albigesi, or Bogre, which means Bulgarians for their filiation with the Bogomils of Bulgaria; in Bosnia Catari or Bogomìli; in Italy Catari as well as in Germany. As they became more and more numerous, they preached the return to the evangelical purity of the original Christianity. To eradicate them, bonfires were lit and anathemas were launched, their houses destroyed; in the West, the Pope of Rome launched a Crusade and the Inquisition Tribunal was created based on suspicion and denunciation. They wanted them to be erased from history.
Bogre is a road movie on the trail of this European heresy. Bogre is a journey of the director starting from a fleeting family memory: the word “bogre” that his father used to say. With his crew, he travels across Europe, from Bulgaria to Bosnia to southern France to Italy and makes a film that shows itself in its making. Look for traces of the Cathars and Bogomils in today. Visit places; meets historians and experts listen and films shreds of stories. Similar to an archaeologist, he unearths names, characters, narratives, ancient treatises, prayers, doctrines, curses, anathemas, inquisitors and inquisitors.
Thus the journey on the footsteps of the Bogre becomes an exploration into history through the ideas of God, Christ, faiths, and life, death, the afterlife, peace, war, equality between man and the woman … to discover, and let the viewer discover, that in the events of the Bogre we can still reflect and recognize ourselves, at one time angels, devils, persecuted, persecutors, tolerant, in solidarity, animated by a spirit of brotherhood, now ready to exclude the “other”, to drive them out and accuse them, according to a destiny that continues to recur. From the events of the Bogre of that time, we can therefore reflect on how we treat the excluded “others” in today’s society.