Mosco Boucault, a documentary experience

Des “terroristes” à la retraite

Mosco Boucault

1985France81 minColour


Immigrants to France in the 1930s, now French or stateless, many of them Jewish, they were the key actors in the guerrilla warfare waged in the Paris streets against the soldiers of the German occupation.


In November 1943, 200 resistance fighters in the Paris area were arrested by the Gestapo. On 21 February 1944, 23 of them were executed. A few days later, the “Red Poster” bearing their portraits was circulated: this was the Manouchian Group made up of foreign Communist resistance fighters, most of them Jewish. Seven of the group’s survivors, five Poles and two Romanians, all Jewish, talk about the journey that led them to France, then into the Resistance and armed struggle.
Mosco’s tenderness hits the mark spot on when, from out of nowhere, he produces these fathers (and pointers) against whom the world seemed to have joined forces: genuine internationalist Communists, and Jewish to boot.... He points up the crushing French state at the service of Nazism, but also the French Communist Party, which washed its hands of them, but also the official Resistance who blotted out these heroes with unpronounceable names, but also some integrated French Jews discomfited by these small Polish tailors from the Manouchian Group with their Yiddish accent ....Almost all these groups, all hauled over the coals, tried to stop the film from airing on Antenne 2 in 1985. There was a huge outcry! It took Simone Signoret’s energy (she recorded the voice-over commentary), relayed by Ivan Levaï ( he was then working for Europe 1), for “Terrorists” in Retirement to finally be shown.
–Antoine Perraud (Télérama, 19January 1994)

  • PRODUCTION : Zek Production
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