Being Jewish In France
Comme un Juif en France

France, 2007, 185 minutes
(Part I, 73 minutes
Part II, 112 minutes)
French with English subtitles
Director/Writer: Yves Jeuland

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Questions about this title for Home Use? Please email us at ncjf(at)jewishfilm(dot)edu

Public Exhibition Formats: Beta, DVD


Yves Jeuland's masterful, sweeping new documentary explores the rich and complex history of Jews in France, the first country to grant Jews citizenship. Beginning with Revolutionary cries of Vive la France in Yiddish, the film explores the explosive Dreyfus Affair, the Vichy government's collaboration with the Nazis, and the absorption of Sephardic Jews from Arab countries in the decades after WWII. Being Jewish in France confidently continues into the 21st century, investigating charges of rising antisemitism and the county's complex attitudes toward Israel.

A fascinating and provocative exploration of French-Jewish history, Being Jewish in France is given vivid human dimension by interviews with more than a dozen leading French politicians, intellectuals and artists including Robert Badinter, Théo Klein, Jean-Claude Grumberg, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, and Jean Benguigui. Presenting a treasure trove of lush archival material, memorable music, and clips from classic French films, Being Jewish in France is poised to become the definitive film on the topic.

Narrated by Mathieu Amalric, star of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Critical Acclaim

Los Angeles Times - By Kenneth Turan
"Good things don't come exclusively in small packages, sometimes they come in great big ones that don't stay around for very long. Which is the case with the exceptional new three-hour documentary that is playing for three days only at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art... Being Jewish in France makes exceptionally good use of vintage photographs and film clips in telling its story, and in fact won an award for best utilization of archival footage. It also boasts an especially varied and articulate group of talking heads...Appealing across the board." Full Review

Time Out New York - By David Fear
"Essential Viewing...Combining testimonials, newsreel footage and snippets of cinematic representations from Renoir to Marcel Ophuls, Jeuland has concocted something close to a final word on the subject." Full Review

Chicago Sun-Times - By Bill Stamets
"More than a panorama of triumphs and victims, Yves Jeuland's nuanced Being Jewish in France educates and entertains by blending personal remembrances, archival clips and period music. The talking heads here are unusually thoughtful... Authoritative." Full Review

Chicago Reader - by Andrea Gronvall
"Richly detailed and highly absorbing." Full Review

Village Voice - By J. Hoberman
"There's a Yiddish saying: 'Hard to be a Jew'; Jeuland's film adds the qualifier 'in France.' Unlike similar American docs, Being Jewish in France is neither a bittersweet nor a triumphalist tale of adaptation and achievement, featuring a roll call of prominent French-Jewish artists, writers, and industrialists." Full Review


WINNER Jewish Experience Award, Jerusalem International Film Festival (2007)
International Focal Award for Best Use of Archival Footage in a Factual Production category (2008)

Theatrical Runs & Special Screenings

Cinema du Parc, Montreal (October 2012)
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (January 2010)
Miami Beach Cinematheque (November 2009)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (August 7-9, 2009) -Over 2000 Seats Sold
Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (July 2009)
Official Selection: Tournees Festival 2009-10
One of twenty films selected & recommended to programmers by the French Embassy & French American Cultural Exchange for film festivals of contemporary French cinema on American college campuses.
North American Premiere (May 13-19, 2009) Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York City -2500 Seats SOLD OUT

Selected Screenings

Southampton Jewish Film Festival, 2015
UK Jewish Film Festival, 2015
Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival, 2013
Geneva International Jewish Film Festival, 2013
Cinestudio April in Paris Film Festival, 2012
Bucharest Jewish Film Festival, 2011
Berlin Jewish Film Festival, 2011
Warsaw Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival, 2009
Rutgers New Jersey Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, 2009
UK Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Bendheim Performing Arts Center, 2009
Wexner Center for the Arts, 2009
Sao Paolo Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Portland Jewish Film Festival, 2009
St. Louis Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Jacob Burns Film Center Jewish Film Festival, 2009
Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2009 SOLD OUT & SCREENING ADDED
New York Jewish Film Festival, 2009 SOLD OUT
Washington Jewish Film Festival, 2008
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, 2008
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, 2008 SOLD OUT


Director/Writer Yves Jeuland
Narrator Mathieu Amalric
Interviews with Robert Badinter, Elie Barnavi, Jean Benguigui, Paul Bernard, Rchel Cohen, Daniel Farhi, Bruno Fiszon, Raphaël Draï, Jean-Claude Grumberg, Eva Labi, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Théo Klein, Annette Wieviorka
Historical Adviser Michel Winock
Editor Sylvie Bourget
Researcher Valérie Combard
Original Music Eric Slabiak
Producers Michel Rotman and Marie Hélène Ranc for KUIV

About Director Yves Jeuland

Born in Carcassonne, France in 1968, Yves Jeuland is a scriptwriter and a director for documentaries broadcasted on French television channels, Canal + and Arte. In 2001 he won the 7 d'Or award for the best documentary series for Paris at Any Cost about the 2-year electoral campaign for the capital’s City Council. Jeuland was awarded the Silver FIPA for Camarades (2003), his documentary about the history of Communism in France . His other films include Bleu Blanc Rose (2002), a documentary exploring gay and lesbian life in Paris over the last thirty years, and The Century of Socialists (2005).


Press Kit (PDF)
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan (8/07/09)
The Village Voice - J. Hoberman (5/13/09)
New York Times - Neil Genzlinger (5/13/09)

Purchase the Film

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $350

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information



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