Through the incredible love story between a Russian Jew and an Italian officer, the story of an unknown episode of the Second World War. Between June 1940 and September 1943 the Italian army occupied several French departments. In a short time, Central European Jews flocked to the Italian area where they feel most secure. It is a refuge sheltered from the Germans and Vichy. About a thousand of them arrive in Saint-Martin-Vésubie, in the Maritime Alps, and are sentenced to house arrest by the Italian authorities. Suddenly Russian, Romanian, Polish or Yiddish are spoken in this mountain village. In the huts you can improvise a school and a synagogue, at night you dance in the barns after the curfew, you bathe in the mountain lakes, you study, you pick fruits and mushrooms, you do theater or boxing. And you fall in love ... Protected by Italian soldiers, this small Jewish community manages to escape the Nazi deportations, until the armistice when everything changes...

The film is a passionate tale that combines intimate history and Great History to reconstruct a touching moment of brotherhood between peoples at war. This story is told with great sensitivity by the director Audrey Gordon, whose family was directly involved in the events represented. The peculiarity of this story is the occasion for a joint project between Italy and France that involves a co-production between the two public services: RAI, with the new Documentary Production Unity and France Television.

Audrey Gordon
Audrey Gordon
Audrey Gordon
Director of photography
Fanny Mazoyer
Film Editor
Original Music
Eric Slabiak
Cast and characters

Federico Strobino, Rima Levin

Production Director
Mathieu Cabannes
Executive production
Massimo Arvat, Patricia Boutinard Rouelle
Zenit Arti Audiovisive, Nilaya Productions
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Piemonte Doc Film Fund - produzione giugno 2020, con la partecipazione di France Télévisions, Rai Documentari, Mic.
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Zenit Arti Audiovisive
Last update: 09 November 2023