MHM Film Club: “The Jewish Cardinal” (2012)

The Jewish Cardinal (2012) France 90mins
Directed by Ilan Duran Cohen

This film tells the amazing true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who maintained his cultural identity as a Jew even after converting to Catholicism at a young age and later joining the priesthood.

Quickly rising within the ranks of the Church, Lustiger was appointed Archbishop of Paris by Pope Jean Paul II and from here found a new platform from which to celebrate his dual identity as a Catholic Jew, earning him both friends and enemies from both sides. When Carmelite nuns decide to build a convent on the site of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, Lustiger finds himself a mediator between the two communities – and may be forced to choose a side.

The Jewish Cardinal was the winner of the Grand Prix for Best French TV Drama at the Festival de Luchon; was nominated for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Director at the Festival de Monte Carlo; and received Official Selection at Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels in Amsterdam.

The Jewish Cardinal is part of the Classic Cinema’s Holocaust Film Series and this special screening will be followed by a refreshment break and interactive audience discussion held at the Melbourne Holocaust Museum, just around the corner from the Classic. The discussion with Holocaust survivors and other members of the public will begin with a presentation by Dr Julian Novitz, an award-winning short story writer and novelist, and a Lecturer in Writing at Swinburne University of Technology.

Entry to the post-screening event is free; donations are welcome.