Screening of Jérôme Prieur’s documentary about Hélène Berr [fr]

French director Jérôme Prieur will present his documentary “Hélène Berr, une jeune fille dans Paris occupé” on Thursday, February 26 at 7PM at the Alliance française de Toronto.


Hélène Berr, a young brilliant Jewish female student of literature at the Sorbonne University, lives in Paris during the Nazi occupation. She keeps a diary from 1942 till 1944, wherein she describes the mounting horrors of the persecution of the Jews. In 1944 she is arrested with her parents and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She dies in Bergen-Belsen, a few days before the liberation of that concentration camp. Her secret diary was kept in the family and finally published in 2008.

Utilizing previously unseen footage shot in occupied Paris, official archival images and family photographs including remarkable home-movies, French director Jérôme Prieur offers a highly original and captivating adaptation of Hélène Berr’s journal. Jérôme Prieur’s documentary finely illustrates the dual legacy of Hélène’s Berr’s journal, that of a remarkable literary work as well as a valued historical account of life in occupied Paris at that time. The journal, discovered and published more than 60 years after it was written, became an immediate bestseller in France. "Hélène Berr : Journal 1942-1944" has since been translated and published in more than 25 countries.

This documentary received the Price of Meilleur documentaire de télévision 2014 awarded by the Syndicat Français de la Critique de cinéma et des films de télévision.

Presented in partnership / Co-presented with the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto be screened in French version with English subtitles. HistorianMichael Marrus will present the documentary in both languages French and English.

Jérome Prieur and Michael Marrus will be attending the screening.

Writer and filmmaker Jerome Prieur has directed many documentaries that explore History, Archeology, Literacy and Art as le Réveil d’Apollon. In addition to the three major series on the origins of Christianity Corpus Christi (with Gérard Mordillat), he has directed several films about the Occupation, Le Mur de l’Atlantique, René Char, nom de guerre Alexandre, A propos du procès Barbie, Dieppe 19 août 1942 as well as the adaptation of Hélène Berr newspaper, Hélène Berr , a young girl in occupied Paris , which has just received the Critics Award for Best Documentary 2014. It is also the author of a dozen trials : Séance de lanterne magique (Gallimard), Jésus contre Jésus (Points Seuil), Proust fantôme (Gallimard "Folio"), Rendez-vous dans une autre vie (Seuil), Une femme dangereuse (Editions Le Passage).

Last modified on 25/08/2015

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