Among the profusion of documentary subjects on the Second World War and more particularly on France during this period, there are still some truly original subjects. This is the case with this film, which tells an unprecedented story, at least on the small screen, the story of a forgotten weapon which wreaked havoc among the French population: the denunciation. Thanks to the contributions of the work of the historian Laurent Joly, specialist in anti-Semitism, the director David Korn-Brzoza is thus interested in this cancer which interfered and divided France and tries to understand it, interventions of victims and of informers in support.
A shameful repressive machine
Following the defeat of 1940, the German occupier in the occupied zone but also the newly formed Vichy government in the free zone set up a real repressive machine based on denunciation and carried out a real policy to keep control via this sly weapon which affects all social circles without any distinction and which mainly operates between French people. Because it is often through his neighbor, his janitor, his colleague or sometimes even a close relative of the family that the denunciation occurs. A flood of anonymous letters then invaded the bodies responsible for this monitoring. For the French, it is above all time to settle their scores. Indeed, denunciations are far from being all justified, a desire for revenge or even a simple grudge can then seal the fate of a person.
Why the denouncement?
More than a documentary on the denunciation itself, David Korn-Brzoza seeks to understand it. So what are the causes of denouncement? Out of jealousy, out of hatred, out of greed, out of anti-Semitism, out of recruitment or just out of fear and the search for protection? There are many reasons. Through a three-year project, revealing a serious and successful archival work, Denounce Under the Occupation also stands out by going to meet those who have lived, made or suffered the denunciation, and it is undoubtedly to both the strong point and the weak point of this documentary film. Indeed, to the pedagogical force of the testimony is added the pathos of their history and this is undoubtedly the only negative point of this film: when it begins to tear a little tear from your eye, you say to yourself that the theatricalization is certainly a little too much. Nonetheless, it remains a very interesting, clear and instructive documentary.
Denounce under occupation, Wednesday March 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm in Immediate History on France 3. Replay on March 26 at 1:40 am.