Three finished films about the Shoah, one from France, one from Germany and one from Macedonia with a fourth French-German co-production by a top French art house film producer Sylvain Bursztejn are proof that the issue of genocide and the guilt of nations has not been resolved or forgotten. These films are fascinating and cover still untold ground.
The Roundup (La Rafle)
by Rose Bosch (ISA: Legende). U.S. Menemsha. France: Gaumont, TF1, Canal +, France Television
Until the 1990s when then-Prime Minister Jacques Chirac officially accepted the idea of French complicity for the Vichy regime of France, all Frenchmen seem to have claimed to have been part of DeGaulle’s Resistance Movement. Recently, the new Prime Minister Hollande apologized again for France’s role in rounding up the Jews, especially 13,000 in Paris who were herded into the Vel’ Hive (The Winter Velodrome). Because of the acknowledgement, filmmaker and former journalist Rose Bosch could raise private equity to make the feature The Roundup (La Rafle) on the same subject. With a 47% increase in Anti-Semitism in France, when the film aired on TV, Twitter was inundated with Anti-Semitic remarks and jokes which is frightening today to those whose ideals remain on the side of democratic multi-culturalism.
No Place On Earth (The Cave)
by Emmy Award winning director Janet Tobias (ISA: Global Screen GMBh). U.S. contact Submarine
The longest recorded underground survival story in human history was 511 days. This record was set when 5 Jewish families in the Ukraine who descended into a pitch black cave to escape the Nazis.
The Third Half
by Darko Mitrevski, Macedonia's submission for Oscar Nomination for est Foreign Language Film (ISA: The Little Film Co.).
Determined to build the best football club in the country, Dimitry hires the German coach, Rudolph Spitz, to galvanize his rag tag team but when the first Nazi tanks roll through the city in 1939. When Rebecca, the beautiful Jewish daughter of a local banker, elopes with his star player, all Dimitry’s plans must change. The Third Half was born twelve years ago, while the director Darko Metrevski was digging up forgotten stories for a historical TV series. "I remember that, while I was seeking witnesses of various historic periods, someone mentioned the old Mrs. Neta Koen, recently interviewed by the Shoah Visual History Foundation. Soon I found myself in her apartment listening to her stories: She was one of the few Holocaust survivors in Macedonia, a country in which 98% of the Jewish population was brutally wiped out during the WW2. I remember I couldn’t resist asking: “Pardon my curiosity, but how did you survive?” She answered with equal sincerity: “Well, I eloped with a poor football player, and my family renounced me, so my name was not on the lists for deportation. My forbidden love saved my life and the continuity of my family tree as well.” And of course, as in every big, important, monumental event – there is a woman behind all of that.
"Finally, it is a story of my grandfather Vlastimir, a soccer referee and a Holocaust survivor whose written remembrances were the first horrible experience of my childhood.This movie is dedicated to the loving memory of my father, who taught me that creating art is like playing sports – one should never give up as long as his feet stand on the pitch."
Upcoming: Sylvain Bursztejn of Sequoia Films in Paris is now shooting The Last Man in Cologne directed by Pierre-Henry Salfati.