My Father’s Secrets: do you know the comic strip from which this animated film is based?

In theaters since Wednesday, “Les Secrets de mon père” has an educational aim by making young audiences aware of the duty of memory. Véra Belmont’s film is based on an autobiographical story by Michel Klinka.

My Father’s Secrets by Vera Belmont

With the voices of Michèle Bernier, Jacques Gamblin, Arthur Dupont

What is it about ? In the 1960s, in Belgium, Michel and his brother Charly lived a happy childhood in their Jewish family. Their father, silent and discreet, reveals nothing of his past. The two brothers imagine him as a great adventurer, pirate or treasure seeker… But what is he hiding?

Based on a comic

I’m very happy 2022

My Father’s Secrets is from the graphic novel Second Generation – What I Didn’t Tell My Father by Michel Kichka. Son of a Holocaust survivor, he looks back on his youth spent in the shadow of the Shoah: “Telling it in comics seemed to me the best way to touch the hearts of readers of all ages, through through humor, poetry, distance and imagination in order to create an intimate and personal relationship with the reader. »

How to represent the Holocaust?

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I’m very happy 2022

Vera Belmont wanted for a long time to devote a film to the Holocaust while considering that such an enterprise was impossible. Her previous films, Milena and Surviving With Wolves, were already set during and after World War II. Members of his family were themselves deported. “I always thought that you couldn’t shoot in a concentration camp. How to show the Auschwitz camp? How to show what is unshowable? »

Adapt the comic from Michael Kichka allowed him to approach the subject without showing the camps and to ask the following question: how to live after having escaped from the camps? The choice of animation is not neutral: “Indeed, by its elegance and its precision, the drawing makes it possible to represent “the unrepresentable” and to approach the most serious questions with lightness and humor like by Maus d’Art Spiegelman. »

Perpetuate the memory and the words of the deportees

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I’m very happy 2022

The choice of animation makes it possible to reach the younger generations and make them aware of the events of the Holocaust, as recalled by Vera Belmont “At a time when France is republishing Mein Kampf; where racial theories swell in political discourse; where anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia deeply affect the social body; where the stigmatization of the other, of the foreigner, of the young people from the suburbs, becomes a refrain in the media, it seems urgent and necessary to return once again, to always return, to the worst human history of the 20th century to put highlight how monstrous and unacceptable the ideology underlying these positions is and how much the new generations must measure the immense danger it represents. »

The discovery of animation

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It’s the first time that Vera Belmont tries his hand at animation. She collaborated with the animation studio Je suis bien content de Marc Jousset, which produced Persepolis and Avril et le monde riggé. “It is true that fiction and animation are two quite different fields, I sometimes found the time long – ten years have passed between the purchase of the rights and today (smile) – but, in the end, it’s always about staging. »

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My Father’s Secrets: do you know the comic strip from which this animated film is based?

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