When Colette Catherine, 90, was a young woman, she joined a movement that only 2% of the French population represented: the French Resistance. The resistance fighters resisted the Nazi occupation and made history for defying the many regulations imposed on them by the Nazi Germans.
Today, decades later, Catherine is the subject of the short documentary “Colette,” which follows the main character and historian Lucie Fouble as they embark on a journey to retrace the footsteps of Colette, Jean-Pierre, who was one of the thousands to meet her fate in the Nordhausen concentration camp.
The film will screen on August 30 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds as part of the Nevada City Film Festival Drive-In Festival. It will precede a screening of the popular 2001 French fantasy “Amélie” with Audrey Tautou as the shy but turbulent woman who nudges fate with a whimsical series of good deeds.
Speaking of fate, the documentary’s creators caught up with Colette after hearing her story on a tour of the famous Normandy beach, which was used by Allied forces during the D-Day invasion of World War II . Fascinated by her past, they contacted her and, following a series of conversations, were granted permission to meet her and record her trip to Germany, a place she previously had no interest in. to visit.
“The question arises: why would you want to do this to a woman 90 and over?” said the film’s director, Anthony Giacchino. “The problem is that with Colette, we could never do that unless it was her decision.
“What intrigued her was that she did it for Lucie, just to pass on (her story) so that people wouldn’t forget that and what happened. Not just what happened to his brother, but in a general sense. Once she got there, she was going to give him everything.
While Colette herself remains a stubborn and often stoic woman, her travels to where her brother died become naturally moving as she recounts the events of the war to her much younger traveling companion, historian Fouble. The two form an obvious link.
The co-producer of the film Alice Doyard declared: “We discovered that Colette was passionate about transmission and that she wanted to talk to us, show us. She knows the cost of getting up. So Lucie came and we thought it could be a good trip, hand in hand between the two women. We found it to be a living story.
“There were times when I didn’t want to finish shooting (the movie) because I liked living there,” Giacchino said. “It was definitely something you felt like ‘oh it’s over’ but it’s so wonderful that it’s over there. It’s crazy to think that it will be in a drive-in theater.
“Colette” (25 minutes) and “Amelie” (129 minutes) will be screened as a double feature film on August 30 as part of the Nevada City Film Festival, which runs from August 28 to September 4. tickets and more information please visit nevadacityfilmfestival.com or call 530-362-8601.