New Holocaust film for Australia

March 31, 2011 by Arts Editor
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Starring Jean Reno and Mélanie Laurent

‘It’s important to tell this story to the youth of today. It is they who will write the story of tomorrow’ – Joseph Weisman

1942. Joseph Weisman is 11 years old. On the morning of June 6, he must go to school with a yellow star stitched to his chest. The new anti-Jewish decree of the French government has come into force. Like all Jews in France, Jo learns that he is banned from parks, cinemas, fairgrounds and public gardens. Despite this, Jo and his family lead a happy life in Paris, until dawn on July 16, when this happiness is shattered. At 4am they are awakened by shouts and banging on doors as men in black uniforms burst into apartments. Jo and his family are hauled out of their beds and herded onto buses by French gendarmes.

13,000 Jews are crammed into the Winter Velodrome in Paris. This is the biggest round up in history and perpetrated by collaborating French police. The imprisoned Jews endure five days without water, food or healthcare. Dr Sheinbaum (Jean Reno) whom has been rounded up with all the others does what he can for the welfare of those around him. Annette Monod (Mélanie Laurent), a protestant Red Cross nurse, is appalled by the racism of her country’s government of collaborators and attempts to provide aid to the Jews as their ordeal continues.

The screenplay of The Round Up is based closely on the experiences of Joseph Weisman, one of the very few to escape deportation to the camps. After viewing the film Weisman praised Rose Bosch for how well she was able to portray these events on screen: ‘No one could have told the story of the Rafle better… the way it looked, the way it felt, was just like in 1942.’


The plot features several real people, including Jo Weisman and Anna Traube; in the film her mother and sister are captured, in real life they also escaped to join their father in Limoges. Another real character is Annette Monod. Dr. David Sheinbaum, played by Jean Reno, is a synthesis of more than one doctor.





One Response to “New Holocaust film for Australia”
  1. Ross Satterthwaite says:

    The release date is 5 May, 2011.

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