During the 22nd edition of the Future Film Festival we had the opportunity to see the film in competition Les Secrets de mon pèredirected by Véra Belmontan autobiographical tale by Israeli cartoonist Michel Kichka, which shows the Holocaust as a trauma whose echo spans multiple generations.
Les Secrets de mon père focuses on a family’s journey to reconciliation after dealing with the trauma of the Holocaust and Auschwitz. Michel and his brother travel back in time and memory to discover their father’s difficult past: an intimate and strong story unfolds, progressively revealed through animation. The lead producer of the film is Marc Joussetformer artistic director of the film Persepolis.
Les Secrets de mon père: review of the film by Véra Belmont
French director Véra Belmont has signed her fifth feature, an animated film set nearly a decade after the liberation of Paris and the death of Hitler. History takes us back to a post-war reality: we are in the 1960s. Michel and his little brother Charly are two Jewish children who live in Belgium with their parents. At home, their father always refuses to talk about his past, and locks himself up for hours in his office, a room in the house that is forbidden to any other person. Auschwitz is a ghost, an entity that haunts Henri’s past, but also the present of his children Michel and Charly, to whom their father has never told anything about his past and moves away from them to protect them from the truth. .
Although the subject has been addressed through numerous films, Les Secrets de mon père it is a precious testimony of the survivors of the Holocaust, it is a necessary story that expresses the urgency and the duty of memory through the generations. To address the themes of anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and memory, the narrative passes through moments of daily life, from exclusion from a catechism course to family incommunicability, also addressing the generational split between those who survived the war and those who have not known it.
Future Film Festival, the film in competition Les Secrets de mon père
Les Secrets de mon père it is a precious story not only for what it tells, also in the way it translates the images of the Israeli cartoonist, Michel Kichka: the 2D animation is very clean and the aesthetics are rather classic, elements however that allow you to permeate and translate the overflowing imagination of the two children and their difficulty in understanding the harsh reality of concentration camps.
What is admirable is also the choice to reproduce famous images that determined the Second World War and the Holocaust through the tone and aesthetics of the animation; in those moments, when Michel’s eyes meet those images, one can observe how Michel is attentive and curious to understand how those images can affect and intersect his life. Moments that make Véra Belmont’s work precious and moving.
We as spectators observe two stories: one personal and one more impressive, intimacy and knowledge, and how these are experienced, perceived and observed through the eyes of two children, who have suffered both the silences of the family and the complex social context. and post-war politician.