According to Laura Fairrie’s forthcoming documentary “Spiral,” French Jews today face the same dilemma as their World War II-era ancestors: whether to flee over religious persecution. Like the United States, France has seen a normalizing of anti-Semitism. The alarming new trailer for this 2017 DOC NYC selection shows not only comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala mocking Hitler’s victims with dancing and cartoons, but also a teenage girl who vlogs, “There is no race that is as destructive as the Jew.”
France is home to Europe’s biggest Jewish population, comprised of 500,000 individuals whose synagogues have been attacked in response to political tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. In March, thousands of Parisians marched to condemn anti-Semitism, prompted by the recent, brutal killings of a 67-year-old Jewish woman and an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor. Much of “Spiral” focuses on France’s young Jewish community, burdened by increasing intolerance.
The producing team includes British brothers John (Oscar-winner “One Day in September,” “Searching for Sugar Man”) and Daniel Battsek (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Disobedience”) of Passion Pictures, plus “Faces, Places” producer Charles S. Cohen. His Cohen Media Group is the largest American distributor of French films, and Cohen owns Manhattan’s Quad Cinema, one of two theaters that will open “Spiral” June 22 (the other is Los Angeles’ Laemmle Town Center).
Cohen Media Group
A veteran journalist, Fairrie has directed documentaries for screens big and small, including 2010’s “The Battle for Barking,” which focused on the UK’s general election that year. As she told Women and Hollywood, “My intention is that the film plays like a psychological thriller — interconnected stories unfold and the film captures the inner thoughts of our characters as they wrestle with how they should respond to dangerous times.”
Watch the trailer for “Spiral” below.