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kottke.org posts about Colette Marin-Catherine

Colette

posted by Jason Kottke   May 10, 2021

Colette is a remarkable short documentary that won the Oscar this year in the Documentary Short Subject category. You can watch the film online courtesy of The Guardian.

90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine confronts her past by visiting the German concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora where her brother was killed. As a young girl, she fought Hitler’s Nazis as a member of the French Resistance. For 74 years, she has refused to step foot in Germany, but that changes when a young history student named Lucie enters her life. Prepared to re-open old wounds and revisit the terrors of that time, Marin-Catherine offers important lessons for us all.

Here’s an interview with the filmmakers. From our present historical distance, the horrific story and lessons of Nazism seem fairly straightforward. But as Colette shows, when you delve into the individual stories, the truth of people’s grief & experiences gets complicated. These stories are important to hear and to tell so we remember the real, human, feeling truth of how individual lives were damaged and wasted by the actions of the large and powerful.