|Documentary on the case of ╚ric Bertran online in English|
|per VÝctor Alexandre|
|dilluns, 16 juliol 2007|
[ Nota de premsa en català / Press release in Catalan ]
Coinciding with the opening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the world-wide Internet debut of Èric and the Army of the Phoenix (Èric i l'Exèrcit del Fènix). Subtitled in English, "Èric and the Army of the Phoenix" documents the odyssey of 14-year-old Èric Bertran, unfairly accused of terrorism. Èric has since been popularly dubbed the "Catalan Harry Potter".
Èric and the Army of the Phoenix documents the truth and the personal consequences -and the politics at play- in the case of Èric Bertran, a boy from Lloret de Mar, a town some 75 km north of Barcelona (Catalonia). When he e-mailed a grocery chain to demand they label their products in Catalan, the language of Catalonia, 14-year-old Èric and his family were subjected to the midnight invasion of their home by thirty police officers bearing a search warrant from the Spanish government. The accusation: terrorism. A big fan of the "Harry Potter" series, Èric created a website that he called Army of the Phoenix, inspired by the famous J.K. Rowling stories, signing his e-mails with the name from his website. Even though they knew full well that the website belonged to a 14-year-old, from that point on, the Spanish authorities insisted on accusing Èric of being a member of an army of terrorists. His family has since taken legal action against the government of Spain for moral and psychological harassment of a minor, taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg and to the United Nations' International Court of Justice.
Èric Bertran and his brother Àdam tell their story in this documentary by Xevi Mató, with English subtitles by Heather Hayes. The film features statements by author Víctor Alexandre, who supervised the book about the case. Alexandre himself has also written an entertaining and controversial play about the incident, which débuted in Barcelona in 2007. Also featured in the film are contributions by Member of Parliament Joan Puig, who defended Èric before the Spanish assembly, and by Èric's attorney Emili Colmenero, who explains how the Spanish justice system connected a child to an Al Qaeda cell.