by | Nov 6, 2021 | Films, Virtual Cinema

The Camps – Mexico – New York


Sat, Dec 11, 7:00 | Sun, Dec 12, 4:00

$10 adv, $15 door, Josep.
$16 adv, $24 door, double-feature with Tokyo Shaking.
Proof of vaccination required for admission

Availability extended for a limited time…


OVERVIEW: Animated feature film for adults, winner Best Animated Film – César Awards, EFA, Annecy, premiered at Cannes. Primarily in French, with portions in Spanish, English and Catalan; with English subtitles.  Run time 74 min. Post-film discussion with Brianne McGuirk and Tim Swallow.

  • The flow of refugees across geographic and political borders has been a constant throughout history. The treatment of a half-million Spaniards fleeing the fascist Franco regime after the Spanish Civil War contrasts the French people’s generally tolerant acceptance with the French government’s reprehensible imposition of imprisonment and intolerable conditions.
  • Against this backdrop of 20th century events, Josep is an animated biographic drama telling the true story of Josep Bartolí, a Catalan artist, political commentator and resistance fighter in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Best known for his sketches of life in gruesome French internment camps, 1939-1943, Bartoli’s life experiences inform his personal and artistic evolution, including his escape from French camps and a train bound for Dachau, as well as his emigration to Mexico, artistic and romantic relationship with Frieda Kahlo and foray into the world of expressionist art with Pollock, Rothko, DeKooning, et. al.
  • Using multiple graphic styles to mark the periods in Josep’s adult life, filmmaker Aurel (Aurélien Froment, himself an illustrator) depicts a dark time in French history that’s rarely shown on screen or taught in classrooms.
  • This powerful portrait of Bartolí’s triumph over adversity is fascinating, informative and inspirational.

Learn more in the sections below:

  • Synopsis and film details in “About the Film”
  • Speaker bios in “Discussion Leaders”
  • Event details, tix, etc. in “What, Where…”
  • Graphics and Flyers in “Social Media Assets”
  • CWC patron discount in “Drinks & Dining”
  • Still photos and Frida Kahlo love letters, bottom of this page

Josep will appeal to general audiences and students (ages 15-up), especially those with interest in biographies … romance languages … animation and illustration … artists and art history … world and military history (France, Spain, Catalonia, Mexico) including WWII concentration camps, Vichy France and the Spanish Civil War.


We meet Josep in February 1939 as the Civil War comes to a close. Overwhelmed by the flood of 500,000 Spaniards pushed out of the country by the Nazi-backed Franco dictatorship, the French government herds them into camps. Two men separated by barbed wire befriend each other. One is a gendarme, Serge, the other is an illustrator, Josep Bartolí.

The film’s framing device is excellent, adding a present-day perspective to Josep’s story as told by Serge, now an old man reaching the end of his life, to his grandson. Serge relates his youthful experiences as a gendarme in French concentration camps following the Spanish Civil War where he helps Josep escape, as well as his time with Josep after WWII in Mexico and New York.

Josep presents true events that reveal a dark and seldom told part of France’s history. Among the many thousands locked behind barbed wire, brutally treated by the guards and left to die of hunger, freezing and disease, Josep saves himself from madness by sketching whenever he can. Since Josep is constantly sketching, this allows the director to bring a montage of Josep’s works to the screen, animating some of them.

Josep landed in Paris after escaping from the camps, working as a set designer. Soon he was captured by the Vichy forces and turned over to the Nazis. Enroute to almost certain death at Dachau, Josep escaped once again, making his way to Casablanca and ultimately Mexico, where he joined the Spanish ex-pat community and became an artistic and political collaborator with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

In Mexico he published his book of pen and pencil drawings made in the French camps. In 1946, Josep moved to New York, joining the expressionist community that included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem De Kooning. He also became Frida Kahlo’s lover, exchanging love letters and seeing her when she came to NYC for medical treatment.

Congruent with his journeys and life experience, Bartolí’s artistic focus and style evolved over time, from black and white sketches to color renderings to more abstract work. Director Aurel, a well-known illustrator and cartoonist himself, follows this evolution in the film with shifting styles of animation, subtle in its motion, fluid where it needs to be.

JOSEP celebrates the artist’s life and work while immortalizing those forgotten in the camps and illustrates his resiliency in living a full life while overcoming adversity.


Brianne McGuirk,
Discussion Leader

Brianne McGuirkIndie animator and visual artist, Brianne McGuirk is familiar with the design, illustration animation techniques seen in the film Josep. She is currently working on an adult animated feature, Unplugged, based on the book of the same name by Paul McComas.

Brianne has collaborated with local talent for film, live events, art projects and PSAs. She attended Indiana University, Bloomington and studied at the Henry Hope School of Arts. While in college she started her career in radio and TV at WTIU. She is an active member of SAG-AFTRA and Women in Animation. Her work has appeared in various art installations, online, and fringe festivals. Learn more about Brianne:


Tim Swallow,
Discussion Leader

Timothy SwallowTim operates The Garfield Theatre and is a founder and now president of Cincinnati World Cinema, with a 20-year history of film programming and presentation, including world premieres and festivals. Prior to CWC, he spent 20 years as a live events producer, focusing on music, theatre and the arts.

His experience includes management, marketing, finance, IT and event production. Specializing in short film, Tim’s passion, and CWC’s mission, is building a film community to experience high-quality international, independent and short-form cinema not otherwise available in this market.


HYBRID EVENT: On the big screen at the Garfield and in the Virtual Cinema.

Director Aurélien “Aurel” Froment, France/Spain/Belgium, 2020, 74min, NR*, primarily in French, plus Spanish, English and Catalan, with English subtitles. *We cannot find a formal MPAA rating. One source suggests “PG13” which depends on the maturity of the younger viewer. “R” seems more appropriate, for language and scenes of war.

☀ THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google Map  …  Garfield Parking Options
Proof of full vaccination is required for in-theatre admission, with masking, reduced capacity and distancing practiced in the venue.

Saturday, Dec 11, 7:00 pm,
Sunday, Dec 12, 4:00 pm,

Availability extended for a limited time…

In-theatre single tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door (if not sold out in advance).
In-theatre double-feature tickets are $16 in advance, $24 at the door:
— Saturday, Dec 11, Toyko Shaking 4 pm + Josep 7 pm
— Sunday, Dec 12, Josep 4 pm + Tokyo Shaking 7 pm

Virtual Cinema single tickets are $15.
Virtual Cinema double-feature tickets are $24.
— Watch separately, or together, in any order.

All tickets are available online via the Tix Button (top of this web page), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 information can be found on the CWC Policies Page.

Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.
Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.

Please download, print, email and post on SM…
(images below not actual size)
Include when posting!
Announcements for SM posts, websites, email … right-click to download
JOSEP - web graphic
8.5×11 for printing (click in image to see PDF) …
JOSEP - print PDF

Double Feature web graphic …
TOKYO-JOSEP Double Feature web graphic

It couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

For CWC patrons, general manager Michaele Kadivnik offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should present your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

HOURS: MON-TUE, closed; WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking. RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974 or

SAFETY PROTOCOLS, from Butcher & Barrel management:
“ALL GUESTS are required to wear face masks when they arrive, and while in any common spaces. In compliance with the most recent government guidelines, we cannot allow guests to wait for a table in common areas and reservations are accepted for groups of UP TO 10 guests ONLY.”


Click in each image to enlarge.
Clockwise from top left:
Josep, Serge and Frida Kahlo, cr: Aurel.
Love letters from Frida to Josep, cr: Doyle Gallery.
French internment camp, cr: Aurel.
Matilda and Helios, cr: Aurel.
Josep self-portrait, cr: Georges Bartolí.
Bartolí sketch, camp life, cr: Aurel.





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