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Colette, 92-year-old former resistance fighter, heroine of an Oscar-nominated documentary

The film “Colette” is nominated for the Oscars in the category of best documentary short. Colette Marin-Catherine, accompanied by a history student, goes for the first time in her life to Germany, to the Dora camp, where her brother died in 1945.

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France Televisions

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Colette Marin-Catherine is a woman of character. It is not easy to impress this 92-year-old former resistance fighter. When world-famous documentary director Michael Moore called her to announce the Oscar nomination for the film that bears his name, she just didn’t know who he was.

La Caennaise observes from afar the enthusiasm for the film in which she is the heroine, but she is proud that the memory of her brother is being honored. On April 25, the day of the Oscars ceremony, she will be at home in Caen. But will undoubtedly keep abreast of what is happening in Los Angeles.

"Colette", the documentary on the way to the Oscars

The documentary “Colette”, by American director Anthony Giacchino and French journalist Alice Doyard, is available on the site of the “Guardian”, which produced it. Colette Marin-Catherine had sworn never to set foot in Germany, the country which took away Jean-Pierre, her brother, at the age of 17. And then, she never appreciated what she calls the “morbid” tourism which developed around the concentration camps. But 75 years later, she changed her mind, notably thanks to her meeting with a history student, Lucie, who was interested for her thesis in the career of Jean-Pierre, this young Norman resistant.

The film recounts in 25 minutes this trip with Lucie in the footsteps of Jean-Pierre, in the Mittelbau-Dora camp where he was deported after his arrest in 1943 and where he died of exhaustion in 1945. “When I cross the border with Germany, I know that I will never be the same”, says Colette, as she prepares her suitcase.

The film modestly recounts moments of incredible force. Colette is not a woman to show her emotions, and even less to let themselves be overcome by them. But, when she goes to where her brother has suffered so much and died, she inevitably cracks, like 75 years earlier. “I am overwhelmed by the horror”, she said as she entered the crematorium. A strong and precious testimony to be shared with as many people as possible.

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