In September 1944, on Hitler's order, the Vichy government is exiled to Sigmaringen, in Germany. Serge Moati retraces the last fights of the French collaboration in an ambitious documentary-fiction broadcast on Tuesday August 29, 2017 at 8.55 pm on Arte.
After the June landings in Normandy and August in Provence, the hour of reconquest has sounded for Free France. Acclaimed by the Parisians, on August 26, 1944, General de Gaulle descended the Champs-Élysées. A few weeks later, on the other side of the Rhine, the France of collaboration took up residence in the castle of Sigmaringen, from which Hitler drove the princely family of the Hohenzollerns. Having become “French territory”, the small Swabian town lodges, on the instructions of the Führer, the “pseudo-capital” of France in exile. Convinced that the Reich could still win the war, the French colony continued its battles in the service of "German France". Gathered in the immense turreted building, the members of the Government Commission, chaired by Fernand de Brinon, strive to play a simulacrum of power ...
This film tells, from September 1944 to April 1945, the eight months of quarrels and errors of the last zealots of the collaboration. Guided by the memories of a young health officer assigned to Marshal Pétain, Serge Moati constructs a breathtaking story, punctuated by fictional scenes in which the main figures of this Vichy in Nazi land - such as Fernand de Brinon, his secretary Jacqueline, Joseph Darnand and Jean Luchaire - are played by actors, the doctor being played by Pierre Hancisse, of the Comédie-Française. Through a fluid montage of archives, decryption of historians (Bénédicte Vergez-Chaignon, Jean-Paul Cointet, Otto Becker), dialogues reported by memorialists and staged, and testimonies from Germans, including
that of the prince of Hohenzollern, Serge Moati signs a fascinating film, anchored in the very decoration of this “castle of betrayal”, as the troops of “France, finally free” will call it.
"Sigmaringen", an unpublished documentary-fiction by Serge Moati - Tuesday August 29 at 8.55 pm on Arte and on Arte +7.