About the Documentary
The World Ended on Mango Street is about a Grandson trying to piece the long-kept secret of his dead Grandmother, Yvonne Holman. Thomas Watson knows his grandmother spent several years in a Japanese Concentration Camp in Indonesia during WWII. However, his grandmother never spoke about her experience and when she passed-away many unanswered questions were left which continue to haunt the family. It was not until he met filmmaker Jean-Baptiste Breliere that he realised how necessary it was to answer the questions his grandmother left. They decided to make a documentary.
They turn to the family to find out what they knew. This quest is frustrated by the family’s fear of reopening the wound Yvonne fought so hard to recover from. The two decide to travel to Lampersari concentration camp, in Indonesia, where Yvonne was imprisoned, hoping to find the testimonies of camp survivors who would able to answer their questions. They discovered though, that just like what Yvonne did with her own story, a whole nation has turned its back against its past, and by doing so, has left a void in the collective memory. It is as if a page in a history book had been torn out.
Perplexed and exhausted, they come to a realisation: If they are to get any information then they must go over to the Netherlands and interview the only Holman left alive, Yvonne’s youngest brother, Robert. Has he rejected his past like Yvonne? Could he have been in contact with Yvonne? Will he be too old to even remember? These fears plague the filmmakers as they fly into Holland.
Robert, to the surprise of Thomas and Jean-Baptiste, has near perfect recall of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. What he reveals is the devastating story of family members who were brutalised by the Japanese, kicked-out by the Indonesians and then rejected by the Dutch. In one conversation nearly seventy years of secrets are thrust into the light and suddenly everything makes sense.
About the Filmmakers
Jean-Baptiste Breliere is a film and documentary Director, a Producer and a Screenplay Writer with a Master of Fine Arts from New York University (Tisch School of the Arts).
He has worked on film and documentary productions in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, the Netherlands and France on individual projects and for television companies such as B.B.C. World.
The director’s films have received awards and have appeared in festivals and organisations around the world, including Slamdance Film Festival, New York Picturestart International Film Festival, Fusion Film Festival and New York University.
From 2013 to 2014 Jean-Baptiste worked extensively in Indonesia as a filmmaker and educator. A career highlight for him during this period was the opportunity to teach documentary filmmaking for Myuran Sukumaran’s prison school based in Denpasar, Bali.
Jean-Baptiste is currently based in Melbourne, Australia where he is working on the Feature Documentary The World Ended on Mango Street which will be released in early 2017.
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Creative Producer/ Post-Production Director
Thomas is a filmmaker based in Melbourne, and he graduated with honours in Acting from Federation University, in Ballarat. He has performed on the stage where he was selected to participate in a masterclass with Hollywood character actor Dee Wallace. His voice acting skills are heard in the documentary.
The filmmaker has worked as producer in a self-devised production called The Deviants, which was further developed as a solo piece for his honours thesis. The World Ended on Mango Street is his first film production.
He has recently completed a Masters of Media and Communications specialising in post-production and radio, where his skills have been used in a variety of student productions. Thomas is currently developing projects for a variety of different media television, cinema and the internet, which will be produced by his film company.