The transmutation of testimony in cling, Najman and Finkiel’s aftermath films

Régine Mihal Friedman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


During this last decade a large number of testimonial films, dedicated to the survivors of the Shoah, have been prompted by the same urge: the revisionist and negationist schemes regarding the Holocaust and the vulnerable state of the aging eyewitness. Distancing themselves from monumental enterprises - like Steven Spielberg’s Visual History Foundation - these works summon the elaboration of a specific testimonial pact that provides at once a space of transference between survivor and interviewer, and implies a special quality of listening and empathy. Such are among many others, La Mémoire est-elle soluble dans l’eau?…/ Is Memory soluble into Water?…(Najman, 1996) the brothers Cling’s Héritage (1996), as well as Emmanuel Finkiel’s triptych which includes the short Madame Jacques sur la Croisette/Madame Jacques on La Croisette (1995), the feature Voyages (1999), and the document Casting (2001). However, at stake in these various works is the deliberate attempt to probe differently the limits of documentary representation, to reaffirm the unremitting power of fiction, and to celebrate the transfiguration of the real through a personal, creative vision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-206
Number of pages12
JournalStudies in French Cinema
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • I-productions
  • Interactive genre
  • Shoah
  • Testimonial pact
  • The Aftermath
  • Witnessing

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