Noticed at the last Cannes Film Festival, La Nuit du 12, the new film by Dominik Moll (revealed in 2000 with the disturbing Harry, a friend who wants you well), oscillates skillfully between film noir and social drama anchored in a tragic news item that reminds us that in France, 20% of criminal cases go unsolved and go unpunished. The pitch? Three o’clock in the morning in a village in Isère. Clara comes out of an evening with friends and walks home. She will never succeed after crossing paths with an individual who douses her with gasoline and sets her on fire. A nightmare for two PJ inspectors (Bastien Bouillon and Bouli Lanners, always sober and fair) who try to piece together that night and the victim’s past. We bathe in ordinary savagery, human darkness in the middle of the magical landscapes of the Alps. Routine often collides with indifference. What discourage the tandem supported however by a tenacious judge (Anouk Grinberg). How not to freak out in the face of this crime that escapes them? What’s the use of fighting? No emphasis here or shots, just the realistic portrait of two men a little lost, locked in their solitude and surrounded by a staging line. Something to trouble us.

The Night of 12, indoors.

Until July 26 at the Manufacture. In Brussels in September 2022, in Orléans and Angoulême in October, in Suresnes in 2023…

Sound: the missing passenger of flight 163 on the platform.

“My mother has been taken away from me, I am alone without resources, not yet 11 years old… I ask your Majesty Marshal Pétain…”, writes one, while this owner of a pharmacy wonders on the follow-up to be given to the new legislation on the Jews concerning his pharmacy assistant, irreproachable moreover, with the concern of not “thwarting the work of recovery of the marshal” An Aryan woman asks if she should bring back her husband’s wireless is Jewish. A 20-year-old who admits he is “just a common Jew, a dirty Yid, shoot me,” adds that for his sins he also wants to live badly. Of these some 3,000 letters addressed to Pétain, or to Xavier Vallat, the first boss of the General Commission for Jewish Questions (CGQJ), stored in the National Archives, Jérôme Prieur read 200 and selected around thirty. The film he co-wrote with historian Laurent Joly, author of a book on the Vél’ d’Hiv roundup, published by Grasset, who had discovered them during his thesis in 2004, is poignantly sober to present the litany of what were then called “the supplications” that went unheeded. An excerpt from the letter. A very brief portrait of the author. The whole thing is intercut, without commentary, with little Vichy propaganda films which ensured, at the very moment when the Marshal received these letters, that he was giving his infinite love to all his compatriots. These letters are also sometimes the last testimonies of these Jews who almost all, after having written in vain specifying their address, were deported and murdered in Auschwitz.

Les Supplications, a film directed by Jérôme Prieur, co-written with Laurent Joly

Fabcaro on the hill* (*Zaï zaï zaï zaï). From July 12, 2022 to March 5, 2023 at the International City of Comics and Image of Angoulême