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Golda Maria

A film by Patrick Sobelman & Hugo Sobelman

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Before us sits an 84-year-old grandmother, positioned in her Parisian lounge opposite the amateur camera of her grandson Patrick Sobelman. It’s October 29, 1994 and over the course of three days, this woman will tell her life story, picking out recollections as they come to her, reaching back, more or less accurately, into the deepest recesses of her memory, prompted by the man in front of her, whose only aim was to preserve a family trace of this woman’s extraordinary existence, from the years spent in her native Poland to her youth in Berlin; from life in occupied France to that in the camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, before her eventual return to “normal” life in the French capital. It’s a dramatic saga which is as captivating as it is moving, and which, almost 25 years later, the one-time videographer (who has since become a seasoned producer) chose to turn into a feature-length documentary, co-directed with his son Hugo Sobelman.

“A testimony of inestimable human and historical value in memory of a woman who experienced a dramatically exceptional fate.” —Cineuropa

“We are offered a genuine, real and raw glimpse into the power of humanity and our innate ability for survival which is both moving and inspirational.” —The Upcoming

“One of the most unexpected and affecting documentaries to come along in many a festival.” —Tablet Mag

“Exciting and essential.” —Premiere (France)

What begins as a family film acquires a universal significance. This serene woman, with restrained emotion, achieves an immediate historical force.” —Cahiers du Cinéma

This minimalist documentary is stunning, intimate and universal, a precious testimony to the fate reserved for Jews before and during the Second World War.” —Les Fiches du Cinéma

“Golda Maria's righteousness, literally and figuratively, reveals a dignified soul that walks through the tormented history of 20th century Europe, between the intimate and the universal.” —Positif

“By telling the story of Golda, Patrick Sobelman contributes to the writing of her family history, but also that of an era. At a time when some people's memory is failing on the tragedy of the Jewish deportations in France, this intimate documentary does a useful job.” —Le Figaro

Berlinale Film Festival

116 minutes / Color
French / English subtitles
Release: 2022
Copyright: 2020

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

Subject areas:
France, Biographies, Jewish Studies, World War II

Watch the trailer:

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