Parisian Holocaust Play


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Les Fantômes de la Rue Papillon/The Ghosts of the Rue Papillon

Review by Jane Rosenstein

Michel Jonasz, a famous French singer and Eddy Monoit star in this very moving play with special participation by Judith Magre about the Holocaust, writen and directed by Dominique Coubes  which is playing in Paris at Théâtre du Gymnase Marie-Bell until April 1, 2018 ,after which it goes on tour.

Wearing a yellow star of David on his jacket, Michel Jonasz, called Joseph, who died in1942  was sitting on a bench on Rue Papillon for over 70 years waiting for someone to bring him news of his wife and two children without knowing if that they were  taken by the Nazis in Paris and of one daughter who escaped. Aissa played by Eddy Monoit  a young up and coming  comedian is a young French Arab who was  killed by a control of the police when they thought his mobile telephone that he dropped might contain a bomb. He arrived on Rue Papillon  and met the old man who said he was over 113 years old. The old man tells him that they are both ghosts and can not be seen by anyone.

He sends Aissa  to go to the street where he lived and see what happened to his family. The audience laughed when God was portrayed as a light and thunder  on the right side of the stage.

Aissa goes to Monoprix, a French supermarket and borrows an Ipad to do the research of the family.He brings it back to Joseph and tells him what an IPad is.

Both the old man and Aissa have to understand why  the Jewish people and others  were targeted. We hear the word “racism” mentioned towards the Jewish people.

Aissa wants to know why the police brutally killed him just because he dropped his telephone.

The actors related well with the audience

The play shows how the human race can destroy a culture and leads us to reflect how innocent people are being killed today.

Visual effects include films of Nazi terrorism.  .

Erez Lévy, Momar Ndiaye and I enjoyed this film and also attended the discussion following the film moderated by

Pierre DASSAS, Président of  European Leadership Network and the House of the Rising Stars Foundation

and as participants

Docteur Ghaleb BENCHEIKH  broadcaster of a radio program about Islamic culture

Father Patrick DESBOIS   a famous Catholic priest who has a mission to retrieve and preserve spots of the mass murders of Jews in Ukraine

Raphaël ENTHOVEN, philosopher

Haïm KORSIA,  le Grand Rabbin de France

Manuel VALLS, former Premier Ministre

The Grand Rabbin de France said that diverse cultures make the world interesting.

The panel discussed the present status of inter religious relations and issues in France.

This moving play, with humorous expressions, is worthwhile for French speakers to see, especially those curious to connect to present French social and identity issues.


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