The Roundup (2010) – La Rafle

This movie had me completely compelled.
Throughout most of it I sat with tears in my eyes.

The Roundup follows the real destinies of the victims and the executioners. Of those who orchestrated it all. Of those who trusted them. Of those who fled. Of those who opposed them. Every character in this film has existed. Every event, even the most extreme, transpired on that summer of 1942.

The Roundup (La Rafle) is a must see movie even beyond its historical mission. The interpretation of the actors is excellent. Its quiet difficult to remain indifferent in front such a tragedy, a tragedy so unfair for these innocent people. French they were, but apparently not enough for the French police, with the Vichy regime headed by a man, Philippe Petain, which is known today to have done nothing to protect Jews. Quite the contrary by the way. With his henchmen, they have not mounted the raid in order to meet German demands, but to give pledges to antisemites of all stripes who supported this worthy scheme.

This is an absolutely beautiful film portraiting of the terrible events that happened during the Jewish extermination in the second world war.

It is a June morning in Paris in 1942 and 11 year old Joseph Weisman has to go to school with a yellow star sewn to his chest.

He receives the support of a goods dealer. The mockery of a baker. Between kindness and contempt, Jo, his Jewish friends, their families, learn of life in an occupied Paris, on the Butte Montmartre, where they’ve taken shelter.

At least that’s what they think, until that morning on July 16th 1942, when their fragile happiness is toppled over.

They are all taken to the Vélodrome D’Hiver where they are stored, crammed together with 13000 other Jews, until the 19th of July when they are transported to the camp of Beaune-La-Rolande.

Anna Traube manages to sneak out of the Velodrome with forged papers, but her sister and mother are captured.

Annette Monod, a Protestant nurse, volunteers for the velodrome, where she assists Jewish doctor David Sheinbaum nursing for the sick. She requests to follow the group and continue nursing for the kids when they are transported to Beaune-La-Rolande.

One day all the parents are dispatched by train to supposed “work camps in the East” (in reality the extermination camps), and Sheinbaum too, their children forced behind. Most of them are executed there – leaving only the ones fit for hard work behind.

Monod wants to come along, but Sheinbaum talks her out of that. After some time authorities announce that for humanitarian reasons the children will be united with their parents in the east (in reality the adults have already been killed, and they are now going to kill the children).

Some children believe they will rejoin their parents. However, Jo and another boy, Pavel, escape under barbed wire, taking along money that the family had hidden in the toilets along with their valuables.

After the war Monod searches for survivors at the Hôtel Lutetia. She finds Jo, who has survived and is to be adopted by a family, and a younger boy Noé, to whom she had also been close; he had somehow slipped out of the group of children taken away on the train to the extermination camps.

Music used in this beautiful movie is:

  • “Clair de lune” from Debussy.
  • “Valse N°17” from Chopin.
  • “Paris” from Edith Piaf.
  • “Tombé du ciel” from Charles Trenet.
  • “Insensiblement”, and “Quand un Vicomte”, from Ray Ventura.
  • “Tout en flanant” from André Claveau.
  • “La Savane” from Gottschalk.
  • “Concerto de L’adieu” from Georges Delerue.
  • “Concerto pour Violon”, from Philip Glass.

More information on this movie:

Newspaper articles:


One response to “The Roundup (2010) – La Rafle

  1. Pingback: Elle s’appelait Sarah (Sarah’s Key) | Home and Away

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