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The liberation and leaving for the Far East


The 1940 defeat and the communist uncle
Raoul Coutard Film-maker
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I mean, with my parents it had been quite dramatic. And in fact, for my uncle who was a Communist, he hadn't accepted the German-Soviet pact, he hadn't accepted that we could get on with the Germans during the first year, and so he was thrown out of the Party. And for the Parties, he became a non-person at the time, meaning that he couldn't find work anywhere, he only got by because he had friends. He was a bootmaker. And he had friends that would slip him work on the side. But otherwise, I mean with regards to the Party, he had been locked out. But, well, it still didn't refrain him from being Communist. As for my father, it had really affected him. I mean at the time people were relatively patriotic, it's a completely lost notion. I mean people... they had lost the war, but they hoped it would only be temporary.

Avec mes parents je veux dire ça a été assez dramatique. Alors d'ailleurs pour mon oncle qui était lui au Parti Communiste, lui il n'avait pas accepté le pacte germano-soviétique, il a pas accepté qu'on soit bien avec les Allemands pendant la première année, et donc il a été viré du Parti. Et il est devenu pour les partis à l'époque une non personne, c'est-à-dire qu'il ne trouvait pas de travail nulle part, il ne vivait que parce qu'ils avaient des copains. Il était bottier. Et qu'il avait des copains qui lui filaient de la perruque à faire. Mais autrement, je veux dire vis-à-vis du parti il s'était fait verrouiller. Mais enfin ça ne l'empêchait pas de toujours être communiste quand même. Quant à mon père, ça l'avait beaucoup ému. Je veux dire à l'époque les gens étaient relativement patriotes quand même, c'est une notion complètement perdue, je veux dire les gens... Ils avaient perdu la guerre mais ils espéraient que ça serait que temporaire.

French cinematographer, Raoul Coutard (1924-2016) was twice nominated for the César Award for best cinematography which he won in 1978 for 'Le Crabe-tambour'. He made over 75 films and documentaries, including 'À Bout de Souffle', Le Mépris' and 'Band à Part'. He was the most acclaimed French cinematographer of his generation and one of the key figures of the New Wave.

Listeners: Bernard Cohn

Benard Cohn is a French filmmaker and writer, who has directed five films as well as numerous documentaries and television series. As an assistant director, he worked with many important filmmakers, including Luis Buñuel, François Jacob, Otto Preminger and Woody Allen. He was a founding member of the Ciné-Qua-Non cinema club and has acted as editor and translator for various publications on the world of cinema.

Bernard Cohn est un réalisateur et écrivain français, ayant réalisé cinq film ainsi que de nombreux reportages et séries télévisées. En tant qu'assistant réalisateur, il a travaillé avec plusieurs grands cinéastes, notamment Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Otto Preminger et Woody Allen. Il fut membre fondateur du ciné-club Ciné-Qua-Non et a participé à la rédaction et traduction en anglais, de plusieurs ouvrages sur le cinéma.

Tags: German-Soviet pact, Communist, communism, uncle

Duration: 1 minute, 10 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008