In picturesque Montmarte, three children wearing a yellow star play in the streets, oblivious to the darkness spreading over Nazi-occupied France. Their parents do not seem too concerned either, somehow putting their trust in the Vichy Government. But beyond this view, much is going on. Hitler demands that the French government round up its Jews and put them on trains for the extermination camps in the East. The collaborators start to put the plan into effect and within a short time, 13,000 of Paris’s Jews, among them 4,000 children, will be rounded up and sent on a road with no return. The fateful date: July 16th, 1942, 70 years ago.
With a meticulously constructed script based on extensive research and first-hand accounts, writer/director Rose Bosch brings to the screen one of the most moving dramas of the year. Powered by fluid direction and a string of stars- from Jean Reno (The Da Vinci Code, Leon: The Professional) to Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, The Concert)- La Rafle (The Roundup) became a big box-office hit in France, and its audiences included thousands of young people who came to learn about a dark chapter in their country’s history.
"The film has an A-list cast, with two stars many Americans will recognize: Melanie Laurent as a Christian nurse, who goes to work at the Velodrome and sees horrors; and Jean Reno as a Jewish doctor who passes up the chance to escape to care for the sick at the Velodrome. Some of this is almost too much to bear: The horrible conditions, the scenes of families being forcibly separated, the sheer madness and in humanity of it - and the sickening realization that this was mostly French people doing it to other French people. "Read more
"A powerful, heart-wrenching film about everyday bravery and about those who would collaborate with evil. The people who most need to see it wouldn’t dream of attending."Read more
Feature - La Rafle confronts wartime stain on French history
"A harrowing drama following the events of the Nazi-decreed raid through the eyes of a group of young children, La Rafle has been hailed as an important step in France's acknowledgment of its complicity in the crimes of the Occupation."