Description of the project

Sagarra Jo is a full-length documentary that tells the story of the traditional 3-piece Bask trio, Kalakan, who toured with the world-wide star Madonna. It questions the place of minority expression inside an equalizing mass culture. What is Madonna looking for in these ancestral cultures? A simple aesthetic or a truely meaningful process ?


History and actual steps of the project

  • August 2012 : One week video shoot during Madonna’s tour with Kalakan betwin Nice (FR) and Zurich (CH). Because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we decided to rush there to film.
  • Winter 2012 : Beginning of questioning the main reflections of the documentary. Research and documented interviews.
  • 2013 : Writing of the project. First draft and scenario writing.
  • Mach 2014 : Grant application. Response in June. 

What we still have to do :

  • Finish the definitive writing (translations…)
  • Finish researching (interviews, beneficiary research, copyright negotiations)
  • French TV channel research and negotiations
  • Shooting (more that 80% of the documentary) : the fiction that structures the documentary, lots of interviews, and musical clips with Kalakan. Have a look at the full artistic file for more details (in French) : full artistic file (FR) 


Train of thought

Here is a report we made in order to explain the reasons for this movie, its goals and its train of thought :

You can download the printable full-lengh artistic pdf file (in French) :

Full artistic file [FR]


Movie approach

​A scenario inspired by the traditional manufacturing of Cider and by the journey of self discovery

Sagarra Jo : Smash the apple

When Kalakan joined the team of the MDNA tour to work hand in hand with Madonna, they were asked to adapt their musical universe to the world-wide hit “Open Your Heart”. They mixed it with the ancestral Bask song “Sagarra Jo” (Smash the Apple). They blended the song with ancestral percussions and vocal arrangements that clashed with the radio standards. This song became the musical highlight of the tour (see Swiss and German press).

The song “Sagarra Jo” tells the story of a bird standing on the branch of an appletree, an apple, an apple that has to be smashed, smashed, smashed. It is certain that this speaks about one of the fabrication steps of making cider, apple grinding, which was done using long clubs.

For 150 years, the cider fabrication was a major industrial activity. The cider wasn’t just used as a drink, but also as an ingredient in the Bask sailors’ monopoly, whale oil. Full of vitamins, the cider helped sailors to fight against scurvy.

Cider will be be used in this movie as a metaphor of the journey. The man travels to his radiant future, protected from his losing his background by a beverage that contains his cultural heritage and his roots. It represents a type humanity that knows where it's going, because it knows where it came from.

The choice to make a parrallel between the traditional fabrication of cider and the stages of reflection allows us to easily structure the film, as far as, group interviews, concert footage, clips and pieces of information according to the logic of the  research: to document, dissect, analyze, let stand, oppose, and then synthesize.

Structure :

  1. The Tree of Knowledge

  2. The Harvest

  3. Grinding. Sagarra Jo Motherfuckers !

  4. Maceration

  5. Assembling

  6. Pressing

  7. Casking and drunkeness

  8. The Big Journey

(…) Full-length artistic file (FR)

A parallel micro-fiction : aesthetic touch and narrative elements to structure the movie

As the scenario is inspired by the steps of the Cider’s fabrication, every chapter will be intrduced by fictional scenes staring a young blonde-haired lady. During her journey of self discovery, she will make her own cider and will set out on a quest for her future, symbolized by a boat sailing away. We will watch her picking the apples, grinding them, macerating them, putting them together, pressuring them and casking them before she goes away.

This image makes sense beacuse it’s claimed by Kalakan themselves : Once the tour was over, they decided not to keep on working in the music mass-industry. They explain themselves by making a comparison between music and cheese or cider : they prefer homemade cheese to industrial cheese (Ex.: Babybel). They see themselves as artisans of tasteful music, despite its roughness and irregularity.


(…) Full-length artistic file (FR)


2 thoughts on “Description of the project

  1. Admini

    Hello Diego, sorry for the delay to contest and many thanks for your proposal. You have made nice photos. Do not doubt to contact us if you want more information about our project and i will back to you too if we need photos.

    thank you very much for your support,

    A rivederci,



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