Thursday, February 28, 2008

RHEDESIUM INTERVIEW with Bloodline Producer - René Barnett

The controversy still continues over the new documentary film ‘Bloodline - the Movie’. This film promises to shed new light on the so called Priory of Sion and the mystery at Rennes Le Château. While currently awaiting a release date, the film company nevertheless have placed clips from the film on their website www.bloodline-the This has whetted viewers appetites.

One of the producers of the film, Rene Barnett, has agreed to a provisional interview for this Journal regarding the film, and this is reproduced below. The bold type indicate the questions from the Editor. The editor of this Journal would like to thank Rene Barnett for her time.

Why did you want to make this film?

I, like so many others, read Holy Blood, Holy Grail back in 1982. I found the thesis they set out regarding the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene not only fascinating, but possible. Certainly, worth a deeper look. In addition, it sparked me to consider other possibilities of history alternate to the traditionally accepted versions. Now, after 25 years of ‘deeper looking’, here we are.

What qualities do you have to make a film of this sort?

Well, from a production standpoint, I’ve helped produce many programs and series, mostly for American television, but which are also seen around the world. From a subject matter standpoint, certainly my experience making documentaries with my partner (and award winning director, I might add!) Bruce Burgess as well as my own personal study have come into play.

How did you decide to approach the film?

While we are not journalists, in the mainstream sense of the term, we like to approach our material with an open mind and a commitment to uncovering the truth.

What are your hopes for the film?

Of course, as a producer, I would like the film to be a big success worldwide. But moreover, I would love for it to reveal some truth and spark a lot of great conversations!

How did you begin your research?

My research began, as I said earlier, with reading HBHG. Not too long after that, I took a six week study course here in Los Angeles on the Nag Hammadi Library texts. About this same time, I became fascinated with the Cathars and the Languedoc, and later I became drawn into the Rennes-le-Château mystery and have read many of the books written on the subject.

How were you put in touch with Rennes researchers?

Bruce was acquainted, through previous projects, with the likes of Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, The Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe, Laurence Gardner and others. Others we simply tracked down through our own research and contacted directly.

How did you make contact with the alleged 'Priory Of Sion'?

We were initially put in touch with our ‘POS’ contacts through a trusted friend who had connections with the group.

Do they seem genuine to you?

Even after much communication with those representing the PoS over the last few years, probably because of cloak of secrecy under which they admittedly operate, for me, the jury is still out, as we say in the States. It does seems there is some kind of loosely connected group or ‘network’. The contacts were fascinating, by the way, to say the least.

Were they helpful in their research?

They did provide certain ‘steers’ which would ultimately be confirmed as correct information.

Why do you think they allowed themselves to be filmed by yourselves?

There seems to be at least a faction who want certain information, certain evidence, certain ideas to be released publicly. As for why it was us, we were told it was because we did not appear to have any specific agenda one way or the other.

Do you think they will like the finished project?

I certainly won’t attempt to speak for the Priory of Sion, but I guess I expect a ‘mixed bag’ of reactions from those who represent the group and from the general viewing audience as well because, the ideas explored in the film are controversial.

Were they able to give information which illuminated areas of Rennes research?

That will be a great question for Bruce who was necessarily literally ‘on the ground’ with his research more than I, but as I said before, they gave us ‘steers’ which later turned out to be accurate.

What Sauniere story are you able to construct from your research?

It’s too detailed for this questionnaire. You’ll have to see the film!

What is your opinion on the Tomb Man (Ben Hammott) documents and the method used to find the documents?

After meeting Ben Hammott, talking with him and seeing his research, it kind of all made sense. As the Priory contact in our film commented, maybe it was Ben’s fresh eyes on the clues that allowed him to see what no one else had.

What do you think will happen in regards to the cave burial that was found?

We absolutely would love to see a full professional archaeological examination in coordination with the proper authorities, of course.

Why do you think the POS is so adamant that its location should not be revealed?

It was indicated to us that they did not want it revealed for fear of its destruction and/or looting.

Do you think this film will interest members of the Vatican?

I would think so, but I doubt they would admit it!

How do you think your film will be received?

I hope everyone who sees it does so with an open mind. Whatever a person’s individual beliefs or philosophies, I would love to see them have a reaction to it one way or the other. I think it’s always good to question and explore things, not just be complacent in our ‘programming.’ If it starts a debate, that would be exciting.

On the back of the Da Vinci Code book & film, how do you think people will respond to the recent artifacts found?

Hard to say, but while we have a completely different kind of film, we did watch with interest as the ‘evidence’ presented in ‘The Tomb of Jesus’ documentary was summarily shot down into oblivion in very short order.

Do you think the suggestion that Jesus & Mary Magdalene were married is stronger with the release of your film?

You will have to ask the viewers of our film, but certainly, for me, at the end of this project, it is.

Did you think you would uncover what you have so far?

We started out this project with the goal of turning up something new toward the solution of this mystery. We had no way of knowing what that might turn out to be, and we tried not to have too many preconceived ideas.

Are you glad you decided to tackle this subject, and if you had the choice again would you still do it?

We knew it would not be easy, but we could not have imagined how difficult it would ultimately get to be at times. Bruce and I have often discussed how that perhaps that was how it was supposed to be. We couldn’t help but have the feeling, at times, that we were on some sort of initiatory path, our own Grail quest. Yes, I’d still do it. Once Rennes-le-Chateau has you in its spell, it is difficult to get free, and who wants to be?

Thank you, Sandra, for this opportunity. It is much appreciated.

This interview is taken from the February issue of Rhedesium.

A further more detailed interview regarding all the findings of 'Bloodline' will appear in the May/June 2008 issue.

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