In French with English subtitles. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Hippolyte Girardot. Opens Friday, August 14 at the Ridge Theatre
This is a cool film”¦some might say too cool.
Indeed, considering its subject matter, it would have been all too easy to let the plot descend into a bathetic Hollywood soup of pain and tears. Fortunately, such an easy emotional out is not something Israeli director Amos Gitai would even consider. For more than 30 years, his cinema—both fictional and documentary—has pondered the ironies of Jewish-Palestinian history. What might at first glance appear to be froideur is really a steely form of thoughtfulness.
Watch the trailer for One Day You'll Understand.
One Day You’ll Understand begins in Paris in 1987, when an elderly woman (Jeanne Moreau) is more disturbed by the televised Klaus Barbie war crimes trial than she lets on. Her son, Victor (Hippolyte Girardot), is obsessed with finding out what really happened to their family during the Second World War (the Jewish half of which almost entirely disappeared), but Rivka would seemingly rather do anything than directly confront the past. Victor’s wife, Franí§oise (Emmanuelle Devos), is supportive in a way, but she doesn’t really understand what’s going on. As for elder sister Tania (Dominique Blanc), she prefers Indian mysticism to the West’s seemingly unending war against the Jews.
In adapting Jérí´me Clément’s book for the screen, Gitai is fully aware of the amount of restraint, denial, and dissociation that must be employed to survive a trauma the size of the Holocaust. (His own family’s original name was Weinraub, after all.) This explains why there are no shocking revelations or heartwarming reconciliations in One Day You’ll Understand.
The reason is obvious. Even now, the wounds are still too raw.