Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The People of the Rock: Llanitos of Gibraltar" v1.1 is online

Version 1.1 changes:
-Opening title
-Closing credits
-Some music

Updates to expect in next version:
-Representation by the GSD party (interviews to be conducted in June 2010)
-New narration
-More scoring
-More graphics

Copyright Garrett Gibbons, 2009.
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GSD representation requested

So far, response to "People of the Rock: The Llanitos of Gibraltar" has been excellent! Tons of people have written emails and commented on the video at various websites, and the film has been embedded in web pages featuring information about Gibraltar's politics and culture.

The only issue that Llanitos seem to be having with this film is the lack of representation from the GSD party (namely Peter Caruana). In the works is an updated version of this film, featuring statements and interviews from the GSD, though I also lack funding to return to Gibraltar to perform live video interviews.

If anyone in Gibraltar or Andalucía would like to be involved, pro bono (this is a not-for-profit film), and interview any members of the GSD, especially during the upcoming Gibraltar National Day on September 10, I would be able to include segments of that interview in the next version of the documentary. If any interested parties read this, please contact me for details. Interviews could be performed on video, or be audio-only.

The next version of this film should be released in December, and will include a new narration (the current version was narrated between 3-5am after weeks without much sleep, and it shows), statements from the GSD (whether recorded for this film or onscreen text of public statements), and an improved introduction, among other minor editorial tweaks.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"People of the Rock"

I have finally given this film a title: "People of the Rock."

The next draft of the the film might not come until late April, as I'm trying to finish up my BA degree here at BYU, but it remains on the high-priority list.

Update (5-31-09): I am considering a byline: "People of the Rock: The Llanitos of Gibraltar." Any thoughts?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Ernest Falquero, a Gibraltarian who found the film's blog a few weeks ago, has already posted a review of the film!

He had a lot to say. In general, he wanted to see interviews from a few more politicians, but otherwise calls it "a very well researched and explained documentary about our homeland!" In my book, that's a success, if the people the film is about feel that it represents them well.

Several Gibraltarians have asked me about my motives in making this film, and have asked why I didn't represent a wider political spectrum (namely, I left out the GSD and Peter Caruana). Let me address those two issues individually, though they are related.

Why Gibraltar?
I visited Gibraltar in March 2001, while a missionary in Andalucía for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was only there for the afternoon, but it was long enough to hear a lot of Llanito/Yanito in the streets.

Fascinated by it, I looked into it more when I got back to the USA after those two years.
At that point, very little had been published about Llanito, so I started planning to go over again, this time to study the language and culture.

Meanwhile, a few scholars published some very interesting studies involving language in Gibraltar. I began to pursue an undergraduate education in Linguistics, and
found myself better prepared to understand the sociolinguistic situation in Gibraltar as each semester passed.

Brigham Young University has an option to graduate with an Honors distinction, which requires a number of things, including a final Thesis. While most write papers, I decided to make this film.

Political Representation
Given the fact that I went to Gibraltar planning to interview experts on language and culture, I never planned to include much (if any) political dialogue in the film. I quickly learned that politics and culture are impossible to separate in Gibraltar, so some history and political discussion emerged as a result.

I asked Garcia and Bossano to participate because of their cultural works: Garcia's book, Gibraltar: The Making of a People..., was what I looked at and what led me to request an interview with him. In fact, I was confused about Joseph/Joe Garcia Sr/Jr, and didn't know that the politician and the author were the same Garca. (I had thought that Panorama's editor was the politician.)

Joe Bossano's education was in Linguistics, and his expertise in Italian was an interesting angle for me in terms of discussing Llanito. Of course, I knew about his political career, but I don't know if I would have asked for an interview if he had still been the Chief Minister. Our conversation was mostly historical and cultural, but you can't keep a politician from speaking about politics.

Another politically-slanted interview was with Dennis Beiso, who I approached because of a presentation he gave about Gibraltarian identity at John Mackintosh Hall in October 2006. Again, I was surprised at how political the conversation became, but it seems that a divorce between language, culture and politics in Gibraltar might lead to unnecessary simplifications.

Perhaps I should find ways to remove partisan elements that are causing viewers to feel that the film lacks representation from other political ideologies. I wonder, though, if viewers can't help but think of political platforms when they see Garcia and Bossano. Regardless, I would have loved to have interviewed Caruana or Azopardi. When I was in Gib, however, I certainly wasn't focusing on politics, so that side of the narrative ended up a bit thin.

If I had any semblance of a budget, I would have also interviewed some influential MPs in England, such as Jack Straw or Andrew Rosindell (he is especially interesting in terms of his involvement with EU trade theory and how that relates to the border between Gibraltar and Spain). The mayor of La Línea would also be a good person to approach, but I don't think that this film reaches to a level that would attract the King of Spain or the Queen of England, as has been suggested (though that would be a lot of fun).

I hope that answers some of the questions floating around, and I'm sure that I'll be asked more questions yet! Thanks for watching.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

48-minute draft is ready to view

Here is a draft of the as-of-yet-untitled Gibraltar documentary (48 min):

Gibraltar Documentary from Garrett Wesley Gibbons on Vimeo.

A work in progress: feedback appreciated!