At the 93rd Academy Awards®, the documentary Colette took home the award for Best Documentary Short Subject. Colette follows the 2019 journey of French Resistance veteran Colette Marin-Catherine on her first trip to Germany and the concentration camp where the Nazis murdered her older brother Jean-Pierre. The film’s award was the culmination of almost two years of work on the documentary and the fulfillment of a lifelong mission for Colette to honor her brother’s memory.
Since 2014, Colette has told her family story to guests on the Museum’s educational travel programs in Normandy. With her humor, strength, and wisdom, Colette talks of a country under occupation and the courage it took to resist. She always mentions Jean-Pierre who was taken one night by the Nazis, a manner of disappearance termed nacht und nebel (night and fog). Forced into slave labor, Jean-Pierre died at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp.
Join us on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. (CT) for a virtual discussion of Colette’s journey and the story of the documentary project. Colette Marin-Catherine, Director Anthony Giacchino, and Producer Alice Doyard will be joined by battlefield guides Pierre-Samuel Natanson and Christophe Gosselin to discuss the story behind the film. Actor James Madio, who portrayed Sergeant Frank Perconte in the miniseries Band of Brothers, will moderate the discussion.
The program is free. To register, please click here.
Meet the Featured Speakers:
Colette Marin-Catherine is 92 years old. She was born on April 25, 1929 in Bretteville-l'Orgueilleuse, France, which is located between Bayeux and Caen in Normandy. Colette was 10 years old when the war started in 1939 and 16 years old when it ended. During the war, she helped gather intelligence by writing down the plates of German trucks and also volunteered in a hospital at the end of the war. She currently lives in Caen.
Anthony Giacchino, Director, is an Emmy and Academy Award winning filmmaker living in New York. "When I first met Colette in the fall of 2019, one of the first things she told me was: 'When it’s your turn to live through a war, you’ll see you don’t have time to feel anything.' It was quite an introduction. While making the film, I learned that only one percent of the French population had actively resisted the Nazi occupation before the Normandy Invasion and Colette—as a young girl—was one of those resisters. Seven full decades beyond the events of Colette’s youth, the war's aftermath remains as a dramatic, living thing to filmically explore. And the terrific reality is that war, at its core, is a universally human experience that stays inside all who go through it. And as Colette's story demonstrates, healing is possible if we find the courage to face our darkest and most haunting memories."
Alice Doyard, Producer, is an award winning French producer and director, with credits that include The confined : A Story of Hidden Children (BBC), The Remarkable Resistance of Lilo (BBC), Resistance Women: The Fight Against Hitler in Berlin (BBC), Big Screen Splendors : Bridget Jones In London (Arte). Widely recognized for her skill in finding powerful human stories in places as diverse as the battlefields of the World Wars or the forests of Congo, her work for BBC News on the downfall of the dictator Robert Mugabe was awarded with a Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo Television Festival in 2018. In 2021, Alice Doyard won an Oscar®️ for the Short Documentary Colette.
James "Jimmy" Madio
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, James “Jimmy” Madio is one of seven children. He was a lead cast member in the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries, Band of Brothers, portraying WWII hero Sgt. Frank Perconte. This would become a turning point in Madio’s career, putting him in the national and international spotlight in a timeless piece that continues to air today. Madio continues to support troops by speaking at WWII veteran engagements around the world. He has also traveled with The National WWII Museum on various tours since 2017.