In the south of France, near Avignon, is L'Isle sur la Sorgue, La Venise Comtadine, the Venice of Provence. For a long time, L'Isle sur la Sorgue was part of the Comtat Venaissin, the pope's territory within the kingdom of France. The film begins with shots of the River Sorgue, which encircles the old town. In summer, visitors to the town discover a special coolness there. The film shows similarities and contrasts with Venice, Italy. A town-plan explains the name of L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
A visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse and a boat-trip on a traditional "nego chin" shows where the Sorgue rises.
In the old fishing-quarter, signs of the past can still be seen.
The demonstration of fishing in the old days reminds us of the history of the fishermen who founded the town.
The water-jousting and the "nego chin" boat races are examples of the festivities.
"Course de nego chin"
nous donnons un exemple
de leurs fêtes.
Several rich town-houses were built in the 18 th. century, like Campredon, a cultural centre of the town. The film shows shots from the painting exhibition "Eau en Couleur". Campredon is now dedicated to René Char, the poet of world-wide renown, who was born in L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
We pause in front of the beautiful gates of the old hospital, which is still used as such.
In the Rue des Roues there is an explanation of the factories powered by water-wheels, with the example of a present-day factory.
Like other towns in the Comtat Venaissin, L'Isle sur la Sorgue had its Jewish quarter.
Even the Bastille Day procession can take place on the water.
The baroque church plays an important rôle in the town and in our film. The film shows how the town has endeavoured to preserve the façades of old houses.
The pictures are accompanied by an organ recital on the historic Mentasti organ.
Every week, the Sunday market attracts large numbers of visitors and there's even a floating market in summer.
The film highlights another parallel between Venice, Italy and the Venice of the Comtat, between the carnaval of Venice and the corso of L'Isle sur la Sorgue.
Nowadays, the town prospers largely thanks to bric-a-brac merchants and antique-dealers whose shops and stalls you can see during the summer fair.
For this film, we worked with Yves Michel, a well-known local artist. He composed the music specially for this film.
Voice: Anne Pont
Press right-ups on the video:1 - Vaucluse Matin
The second film on DVDFestivités à L'Isle sur la Sorgue