section Feature Film Competition

The Goldman Case

  • Cédric Kahn
  • FR
  • 2023
  • 115

Pierre Goldman, an activist in the May 1968 riots in Paris, has been sentenced to life in prison. In defiance of the instructions of his defence team, he resolves to pursue his own strategy in the appeal trial: he accuses the prosecution of anti-Semitism. An oppressive and at the same time absorbing court drama that impressively portrays a real-life judicial scandal that occurred in Paris in the 1970s.

Goldman is accused of several robberies, to which he pleads guilty with one exception: a robbery in which two people were killed. With witness statements, questions from the judge and the defendant's answers, the narrative repeatedly makes excursions into dialogue. Not just into Goldman's past and the day of the heist; his book “Dark Memories of a French-born Polish Jew” (“Souvenirs obscurs d'un juif polonais né en France”) is also discussed, which he wrote during his imprisonment and in which he accuses the investigating authorities of racism and anti-Semitism. The austere, almost minimalist staging of the trial paints a multifaceted picture of a morally ambivalent and intellectually complex individual who strives to follow the resistant spirit of his parents: as a “Jewish fighter” he seeks to liberate himself from the stigma of the “Jew as victim”. The action takes place almost exclusively within the confines of the courtroom, creating a space for dialogue that the leading actor Arieh Worthalter proves himself more than capable of filling. Goldman's determination and eloquence cast a spell on the audience, making the oppressive 4:3 format the film is captured in appear almost expansive.

Text: Merlin Webers
English: Peter Rickerby

On June 19 at Thalia Babelsberg and on June 22 at Filmkunst 66, the screenings will be followed by Q&As with screenwriter Nathalie Hertzberg.

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original title The Goldman Case

international title The Goldman Case

german title The Goldman Case

JFBB section Feature Film Competition

  • director Cédric Kahn

country/countries FR

year 2023

duration 115

Portrait of Cédric Kahn

Cédric Kahn

BIO Cédric Kahn started out as an assistant editor for Maurice Pialat's Under the sun of Satan and then directed his first short film Les Dernières Heures du millénaire in 1990. Two years later, his first feature film Bar des rails premiered at the Angers European First Film Festival and was then presented at the International Critic's Week in Venice. He then received the Jean Vigo Prize with his next film Too Much Happiness and the Louis-Delluc Prize with Boredom in 1998, and in 2001, Roberto Succo, was presented in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Cédric Kahn then directed Red Lights with Carole Bouquet and Jean-Pierre Darroussin, which was presented in the official competition of the Berlinale, The Plane with Vincent Lindon and Isabelle Carré, Regrets with Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and Yvan Attal and A Better Life with Guillaume Canet and Leïla Bekhti. After a first acting experience in N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir by Xavier Beauvois, we find him twenty years later in Alyah and Les Anarchistes by Elie Wajeman, Miss and the Doctors by Axelle Ropert, Up for Love by Laurent Tirard and After Love by Joachim Lafosse. In 2014, he won the Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastiàn Film Festival for his film Wild Life with Mathieu Kassovitz and in 2018, his lead actor won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival for his film The Prayer. He could also be seen in Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski, in Head Above Water by Margaux Bonhomme and in the series Call My Agent! in which he plays his own role alongside Isabelle Huppert. His eleventh feature film, Happy Birthday with Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Bercot was released in 2019.