All the characters in this film are real. All the events, even the most extreme, really took place.‘There are in the life of a nation times that wound the memory and the idea one has of one’s country. It is difficult to talk about such times... That day, France, the cradle of Enlightenment and human rights, a safe haven for the oppressed, committed an unforgiveable sin. Breaking its word, it delivered those it should protect to their executioners.’ – Jacques Chirac (President of France 1995-2007), 16 July 1995
1942. Joseph Weisman is 11 years old. On the morning of June 6, he must go to school with a yellow star stitched to his chest. The new anti-Jewish decree of the French government has come into force. Like all Jews in France, Jo learns that he is banned from parks, cinemas, fairgrounds and public gardens. Despite this, Jo and his family lead a happy life in Paris, until dawn on July 16, when this happiness is shattered. At 4am they are awakened by shouts and banging on doors as men in black uniforms burst into apartments. Jo and his family are hauled out of their beds and herded onto buses by French gendarmes.
13,000 Jews are crammed into the Winter Velodrome in Paris. This is the biggest round up in history and perpetrated by collaborating French police. The imprisoned Jews endure five days without water, food or healthcare. Dr Sheinbaum (Jean Reno) whom has been rounded up with all the others does what he can for the welfare of those around him. Annette Monod (Mélanie Laurent), a protestant Red Cross nurse, is appalled by the racism of her country’s government of collaborators and attempts to provide aid to the Jews as their ordeal continues.
The screenplay of The Round Up is based closely on the experiences of Joseph Weisman, one of the very few to escape deportation to the camps. After viewing the film Weisman praised Rose Bosch for how well she was able to portray these events on screen: ‘No one could have told the story of the Rafle better... the way it looked, the way it felt, was just like in 1942.’ Rose Bosch’s The Round Up is a polished, pathos-driven re-creation of the Vichy regime’s mass imprisonment and disposal of 13,000 Parisian Jews in summer 1942. With impeccable production values and all-around stirring performances – Variety
‘To understand modern France, you really must see La Rafle’ – The Independent (UK)
‘It’s important to tell this story to the youth of today. It is they who will write the story of tomorrow’ – Joseph Weisman
Country of Origin: France Language: French w/ English subtitles Duration: 115 minutes Rating: M Director: Roselyn Bosch Starring: Jean Reno, Mélanie Laurent, Gad Elmaleh
Australian release: 5 May 2011