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Bless our heart, under authoritarian rule, loyalty is regarded as more important than competence....

French filmmaker spent years on 'Hidden Rebellion' project

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Daniel Rabourdin shares a laugh with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School students including, from left, Peyton Flory, 14, Jasmine Hill, 12, Tyler Tran, 11, Jazmyn Fuentes, 13, and Holden Haggerty, 11, during his presentation about his film 'The Hidden Rebellion' on Friday at the school.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Rocky Mount Telegram

Monday, February 12, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — Middle-school students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School were treated to slices of both history and culture last week as French movie producer and director Daniel Rabourdin spoke with them about the filming of the his passion project — the docudrama, “The Hidden Rebellion.”

“The Hidden Rebellion” deals with the courageous acts and tragic consequences of one of France’s least-known wars.

The War of the Vendee took place during the French Revolution in response to the anti-Catholic actions of the newly-formed Jacobin government. At least 150,000 civilians were killed in one of the first French wars that saw civilian men, women and even children engaged in battle to defend their faith and homeland.

Rabourdin shared with students one of the reasons he quit his lucrative job with the Alabama-based EWTN Global Catholic Network to pursue the six-year development of “The Hidden Rebellion.”

“When I was about 13 or 14 years old, I was placed in public school in France where many of the teachers felt that it was good thing to try to take away the faith of students. That is a precious thing to take away from a child,” Rabourdin said, adding that he saw parallels in the story of the War of Vendee, where citizens had to fight for the right to their faith.

The French Revolution, Rabourdin said, was the beginning of an effort to place “reason” over the Catholic faith. That effort, he said, has finally come to fruition 200 year later as the efforts of the media and educators have whittled the practicing Catholic population in France down to less than 2 percent.

Rabourdin said he was also looking for an action project when he undertook the film, a project that claimed his entire savings and several years of his life. Though the actual production budget for the film was about $170,000, a relatively low budget for a film, Rabourdin used his own money for about 30 percent of those costs and crowdfunded the rest.

“The amazing thing is that I was able to rally the financial support of about 300 Americans and 600 Frenchmen for this project through crowdfunding,” Rabourdin said.

Students asked questions about the process of the filmmaking, which Rabourdin described as research, writing, lobbying for support, filming and editing the final product.

“I had to edit about 40 hours of film into a 60-minute production,” Rabourdin said. “It is rather like putting together a giant puzzle.”

Since the film was completed, Rabourdin has been sharing it and its message about the timeless theme of the “tension between Caesar and God” in about 98 screenings in France and America in addition to television showings.

Rabourdin presented a screening of the film Friday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in its Rocky Mount premiere.

For more information about how to view or purchase the film, go to http://hiddenrebellion.com/. For more information about the War of Vendee, go to http://www.inthevendee.com/vendee-wars/vendee-wars.html.

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