Bérangère Maïa Parizeau & Noam Chomsky

by | May 12, 2013 | Archive

We gave Maïa a Pollination Project grant to help her make a documentary about Professor Noam Chomsky and his commentary on our planetary environmental crisis.  See the original grant announcement.  We enjoyed her update so much, we wanted to share it!

“Meeting Professor Noam Chomsky at MIT in Cambridge was by far one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.  His presence is truly extraordinary.  Reed Rickert and I arrived 10 minutes before the interview to set up.  Professor Chomsky was on the phone.  His secretary, Bev Stohl, suggested we begin setting up in his office while he was still on the phone as we only had 40 minutes for both the set up and the 30 minutes interview.  Reed and I had visited Professor Chomsky’s office the day before, we had the luxury to spent 30 minutes in his office while he wasn’t there to do light tests and organize the shoot.  Therefore, it was an easy set up on the day of the interview.

I was sitting in the chair, Reed was doing light tests and I heard Professor Chomsky’s phone conversation.  He talked about the bombing in Boston which very recently happened and that two days later there was an entire Yemenese village that was bombed by a US drone attack.  The entire village of innocent people died.  The conversation was extremely intense, very political and quite disturbing.  I started crying like a baby.  I am a sensitive person and I take the intensity of the ecological and human crisis to heart.

Bev arrived in the office, saw me crying and said: “Now you understand my life!  I cry every day!”  She took me by the shoulders in a tender way.  Professor Chomsky finished the phone conversation and came towards me to introduce himself. I was still in tears, and my tears are flowing profusely.   I shook his hand with both of my hands to show my deepest respect, and with my entire face covered in tears.  I wholeheartedly said: “The whole world loves you!” He gently gave me a light hug. Ha!

Then we sat and began the interview.  Although I interviewed my mother, she was the only survivor of a plane accident in 1966 in Haiti, to make my first short film Memory Theater, this was indeed my first official interview.   After my first question, which was: “What is the relationship between humans, nature and how did this relationship change throughout history and how is it now?”   I also added to this question specifically about relationship of indigenous people to nature and how the modern capitalist agenda transform the relationship to land and nature.  He started by saying to me : “There could not be a more important question at this time…”  And he explained why.
The man is a legend.  I am so deeply honored to have had this extraordinary experience.  Not once did I feel stressed out or nervous about meeting him.  I was being led by my heart.  I only feel a little nervousness right before, and it felt more like adrenaline.  I love the man’s heart and his diamond mind.  I am his humble student.

Deepest of gratitude for the Pollination Project seed funding which allowed me to produce the interview.

Professor Chomsky agreed to help me with the writing of a petition and to be the first to sign it.  We are demanding the inclusion of environmental rights as a human right for the global commons in international law.  This petition as Professor Chomsky said is by the people of the world and for the people of the world, which included the governments, the WTO, and the United Nations as well as other institutions.

I will be editing a 3-4 minutes video from this interview and we will be ready to start fundraising in about 2 weeks. Once we have funding and the website up and going at treespirit.org, we will be recruiting signatures for this petition on the website.

This is the beginning of something very interesting and truly positive!
with kind gratitude, Maïa

See a short preview of the documentary Maïa is creating.

Written by Carolyn Ashworth