World War II. Not all warriors wore uniforms. Not all warriors were men. Meet ninety-year-old Colette Catherine who, as a young girl, fought the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance.
Colette has been rejecting to go to Germany and visit the concentration camp where her brother died for all her life. She finally decides to go when the time comes to remember and celebrate Jean-Pierre. And so, Colette Marin-Catherine takes on the journey alongside with Lucie Fouble. Lucie is a volunteer at La Coupole, a French WWII museum: there, she is writing about the lifes of the 9000 French deported in concentration camps. COLETTE follows the trip from France to the camp of Mittelbau-Dora: while the women travel, Colette shares memories and stories about her family and her brother, and each time we can see her shifting from being sorrowful and over what happened. Her family worked for the French resistance, but Colette thinks she’s no hero: she just used to sit down and write things they asked her to do, while the rest of her family was involved in many other activities to support the resistance. While she and Jean-Pierre were not that close, they still were family: it is heartbreaking to watch Colette (and Lucie) cry in front of the camp’s buildings, where her brother slept, worked and died.
COLETTE is a very emotional short documentary, able to move the audience more than once. Although the camera work could have been better, as it rolls a bit too much, the editing is pretty good and the emotion it conveys are priceless. Colette has spent a lot of time trying to forget, never crying nor showing weakness: this trip forces her to confront with the ghosts from her past, and the documentary is perfectly able to capture those moments.
COLETTE won several awards, starting from Best Short Documentary at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Young Cineaste Award at Palm Springs International ShortFest and Best Documentary Short Award at St. Louis International Film Festival. COLETTE won as Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Oscars.
Director: Anthony Giacchino
Running time: 24