Zilbermann prepares Auschwitz - Resort
by Fabien Lemercier
At the co-production market at the Franco-German Film Meetings, which took place last week in Paris, Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s project Auschwitz – Resort, presented by Elzevir Films, attracted more than a little attention.
The film, which will tell the story of three concentration camp survivors who go on holiday together more than 20 years after the Second World War, will be the director’s fifth feature after Not Everybody’s Lucky Enough To Have Communist Parents (nominated for the Best Actress César 1994), Man Is a Woman (nominated for the Best Actor César 1999), Bad Spelling (nominated for the Best Male Newcomer César 2005) and He Is My Girl [+see also:
film profile] (2009).
Co-written by Zilbermann and Odile Barski, the screenplay centres on Helen, Lili and Rose, who met at Auschwitz where they were deported at the age of 20. Thanks to Lili, a Dutch woman who speaks German and worked in the camp’s kitchens, the two French women managed to survive.
But they lost contact after the war: Lili went back to the Netherlands, Rose got married to a concentration camp survivor and settled in Canada, and Helen (whose parents died during the conflict) returned to France and also married a concentration camp survivor (left impotent by Nazi torture). Years later, Helen decides to trace her two friends. They agree to go on holiday together.
It is now the 1960s, it’s summer, the weather is warm, and they meet up at Berck Plage, in northern France. There, for the first time in a long time, they share a meal and also experience simple pleasures like going swimming, eating an ice cream, and laughing together. But they must also confront their Auschwitz demons... and overcome them.
Produced by Denis Carot and Marie Masmonteil for Elzevir Films, Auschwitz - Resort has already received development funding from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC). If the financing goes as planned (budget of €5.8m), shooting will take place in summer 2012 in France and Germany.
Elzevir Films currently has two films showing in theatres, which were unveiled at the latest Cannes Film Festival: Radu Mihaileanu’s The Source [+see also:
film profile] and Christian Rouaud’s documentary Leader-Sheep [+see also:
(Translated from French)
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