Monday, 13 June 2011
Land of witches will get its own screening
There has been another cool development in the saga of THE DEVIL'S ROCK
We now have a special screening on Guernsey, the island closest to Forau, the fictional World War Two strongpoint where the movie is set, planned for Friday July 29th.
This comes courtesy of Cine Guernsey (an independent cinema who offer local folk the opportunity to view classic, foreign and contemporary movies not otherwise available for public viewing on the island), who will be hosting the special night.
Afterwards there will be a dedicated question and answer session with myself, Paul Campion, the film's director, and possibly some cast members.
With its fine weather, beautiful beaches and blue sea-scapes, Guernsey is mainly famous these days as a glorious holiday location, but while many are aware of its sufferings during the Nazi occupation in the Second World War, less well-known is its history of witchcraft and demonology.
Like many remote rural places, there has always been faerie lore in the Channel Islands, along with tales of ghosts, headless hounds and the islands' own uniquely spooky version of the Will-o-the-Wisp. But in Guernsey these charming folk stories took a turn for the more serious in the 16th and 17th centuries, when a series of witch trials commenced, many of which heard bizarre evidence of curses passed, black sabbaths held and demonic beings summoned to Earth through doorways connecting with Hell.
In particular, witnesses claimed to have spied upon Satanic rituals at Rocquaine Castle (Guernsey's famous stone circle) and the Catioroc (a prehistoric burial site). Various kinds of devils and demons were named as having been invited to the island to commit atrocious acts.
In 150 years some 200 Guernsey folk were tried for witchcraft (compared to only 2000 in the whole of mainland England during the same period), many confessions were extracted by torture - even though this was illegal on the mainland, and those convicted faced brutal punishments; where in England a person convicted of causing death by witchcraft faced the hangman, in Guernsey a person merely convicted of witchcraft faced a much slower death by being burned at the stake.
Presumably, anyone wondering why we chose Guernsey as our location for THE DEVIL'S ROCK will now know the answer. We certainly couldn't have found a more appropriate place for a special one-off screening.
Pictured is La Gran'Mere du Chimquiere, a perhistoric fertility symbol at St. Martin's Church on Guernsey. Once feared by locals, it is now a tourist attraction. On occasion, pagan offerings are still left at its feet.
Posted by Paul at 15:44