Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Round Up (La Rafle)

Director and writer: Rose Bosch
Starring: Jean Reno, Melanie Laurent, Gad Elmaleh, Raphaelle Agogue, Hugo Leverdez, Anne Brochet, Sylvie Testud

During the Second World War, under the occupation of the Nazis, the French police and officials arrested over 13,000 Jews living in Paris and held them in detention at the Vél’ d’Hiv, indoor bicycle track. Crammed into a stadium they were systematically humiliated, beaten, and starved. Most were eventually sent to the death camps in Poland. This is a dark passage of French history which still promotes controversy. The drama unfolds when the Weismann family, Shmuel and Sura (Gad Elmaleh, Raphaelle Agogue) and their son Jo (Hugo Leverdez), are caught up in a police raid on a Jewish quarter. Once imprisoned at the Velodrome they meet Dr , David Sheinbaum (Jean Reno), who struggles to minister to the deportees' needs, and a non-Jewish nurse, Annette Monod (Melanie Laurent) who accompanies them in their transit camp ordeal. Based in the main on actual characters this is a harrowing tale. The movie does not quite however match up to the excellent Sarah's Key (Elle s'appelait Sarah) which deals with the same subject.

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