Working with documentary and drama filmmakers

At SNCF, we sponsor the production of films, TV dramas and documentaries on the Second World War, the Resistance, and the Deportation. A selection of the productions made with our support appears below.

Drancy, dernière étape avant l’abîme (Drancy, Last Stop before the Abyss) (documentary film, 2002)

Of the 75,521 Jews deported from France, some 63,170 were interned at Drancy transit camp in the northern suburbs of Paris. It was the point of departure for mass transports to Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Sobibor—the last stop before the abyss. This documentary features accounts from former internees, while archive footage sets their stories in the political context of the time, and explores the role of French collaboration.

Directed by Cécile Clairval-Milhaud, 2002, 57 min. (released on DVD in 2007).

Learn more: https://www.fondationshoah.org/memoire/drancy-derniere-etape-avant-labime-un-film-de-cecile-clairval-milhaud (in French)

The film poster ©Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah

Série télévisée : Les combattants de l’ombre, 2011

Six heures de documentaire réalisées par Bernard George retracent l’histoire de la lutte clandestine en Europe pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Construite autour des témoignages des derniers acteurs de l’époque, de quinze nationalités différentes, illustrée d’archives inédites et de scènes de reconstitution, cette série de six épisodes, diffusée sur ARTE en 2011, offre un autre regard sur la Seconde Guerre mondiale vue, cette fois, du côté de la Résistance et pour la première fois à l’échelle européenne (disponible en DVD/VOD Arte).

Hélène Berr, une jeune fille dans Paris occupé, 2013

Étudiante à la Sorbonne, Hélène Berr a 21 ans lorsqu’elle commence à écrire son journal. Après la mise en place des lois anti-juives de Vichy, sa vie bascule durant l’année 1942. Déportée avec sa famille le 27 mars 1944 vers Auschwitz-Birkenau, elle est morte à Bergen-Belsen, peu avant la libération du camp. Son « Journal », témoignage exceptionnel, a été publié en 2008.

Le film de Jérôme Prieur s’appuie sur des extraits choisis du « Journal », des images d’archives et de sobres reconstitutions (95 min., 2013, disponible en DVD).

Pour en savoir plus et visionner la bande annonce : https://www.fondationshoah.org/memoire/helene-berr-une-jeune-fille-dans-paris-occupe-un-film-de-jerome-prieur

Alias Caracalla, au cœur de la Résistance (AKA Caracalla: Inside the Resistance) (TV film, 2013)

This docufiction is based on the memoirs of Daniel Cordier, who served as the personal assistant to French Resistance leader Jean Moulin. It explores what everyday life was like for Resistance fighters, how the movement eventually came to be unified, and how Moulin set up the National Council of the Resistance shortly before his arrest in June 1943.

The 90-minute film, directed by Alain Tasma, aired on France 3 in May 2013.

Learn more: Watch the trailer (in French)

Les Résistances (The Resistances) (interactive documentary, 2014)

The Resistance means different things in different parts of France—and every region has its unsung heroes. Now, these local stories can finally be told thanks to an interactive, educational platform launched in 2014, combining archive sources with first-hand accounts from people who lived through the events of the time.

Through profiles and interviews, the eight-part, online-only series captures the efforts of more than 250 Resistance fighters from every corner of France. Each episode features over 120 minutes of recorded footage, plus a wealth of interactive content including scanned archive materials, photos, and factsheets.

The collection was compiled and produced by Jan Vasak in 2014.

Explore the interactive documentary

Le dossier du Docteur Jackson (Doctor Jackson’s File), 2015

This 20-minute documentary tells how Sumner Waldron Jackson (1884–1945), a doctor at the American Hospital in Paris, stood up to Nazi invaders. Jackson, his French wife Toquette and his son Philip joined the Goélette network of the French Resistance—and paid for it dearly. All three were arrested and deported to Germany in 1944. Jackson died in Lübeck in northern Germany on May 3, 1945. Drawing on interviews with Philip, as well as insights from historians and Second World War experts, this is a moving story about the courage and tragedy of an American in Paris in the turmoil of the German Occupation.