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"If I had been born in the 1940s, I too would have been sent to camps" - Walla! culture


Rebecca Marder, one of the rising stars in France, plays a "Jewish radiant girl" living in Paris during World War II. In an interview on the occasion of its screening at the Haifa Festival, she talks about the family connection to the Holocaust and the guys who laughed at her about her nude scene because they did not recognize her

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"If I had been born in the 1940s, I too would have been sent to camps."

Rebecca Marder, one of the rising stars in France, plays a "Jewish radiant girl" living in Paris during World War II.

In an interview on the occasion of its screening at the Haifa Festival, she talks about the family connection to the Holocaust and the guys who laughed at her about her nude scene because they did not recognize her


  • Cannes Film Festival

  • Haifa Festival

Avner Shavit, Cannes

Friday, 17 September 2021, 00:00 Updated: 00:29

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From the movie "Radiant Girl" (Cannes Film Festival)

Rebecca Marder loves to smile, and the world smiles back at her. Six years ago, when she was only twenty, she was accepted as a regular actress in the troupe of the Comedy Frances, the most important theater in France and the oldest national theater in the world. In doing so, she also became the second youngest actress in history to receive this status, preceded by none other than Isabel Adjani.

In addition, in the near future it will be possible to see the young star in every possible project, on stage and on the big screen - for example, in stage productions of "Fanny and Alexander" and "The Cherry Orchard"; And in a film about Simone Weil, one of the most important pivots in the history of contemporary France, in which she plays the lead role. If that wasn’t enough, at the last Cannes Film Festival she appeared in two films. The first is "Scam" by Arno Deflashen, which was screened with us for about a month at the Jerusalem Festival. The second will be screened in a week at the Haifa Festival, and it is not surprising to find that it is called "radiant girl" - two words that well define Marder's character and career.

It's a name that has a painful irony.

His protagonist turns out to be a young Parisian, who apparently has many reasons to smile - she experiences first love and promotes the dream of her life, to be accepted to the conservatory for acting.

But she is also Jewish, and the year is 1942, and we all understand what that means.

More on Walla!

The celebration continues: the complete guide to the Haifa Film Festival

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Rebecca Marder (Photo: GettyImages, Julian Hakimian)

"I felt close to this character in several ways," Marder says in an interview with Walla!

A culture that takes place after the Cannes premiere.

"First of all, I'm not much older than her, and my entrance exams for Comedy Frances were not long ago. They were also very intense, so I remember them well. In addition, my father's parents were Eastern European Jews. They managed to escape to the United States. "In time, in 1900, but his remaining relatives were murdered in the Holocaust. This tragedy is deep within his DNA."

Did this closeness make it easier for you or rather made it harder for you to play the role?

"What I like about the film is that it does not address the tragedy of World War II too directly. In its first half hour it can even be addressed within an initiation story for everything, and not pay attention to what year it takes place. Then comes the scene where the protagonist is required to put the "The yellow badge for the first time, but in the end it is much more than a 'Holocaust film' - it is a film about the boldness of the young people, who continue to hope and believe in love and art; and it is a film about the power of art, which can transcend everything."

Marder was born in 1995, and she notes that this is the year that Jacques Chirac became the first French president to recognize the local regime's responsibility for the deportation and extermination of the country's Jews.

"I think over the years, the discourse in France about the Holocaust has changed," she says.

"In 1976, when the film 'Mr. Klein' came out, the authorities wanted to cut from it the scene in which French policemen look with equanimity at the deportation of Jews in the camps. Today that would no longer happen. French society and culture look directly at the past and begin to take responsibility."

The film made you ask yourself what would have happened if you had been born in 1942?

"Yes, it's a difficult question. I'm Jewish, so I guess the answer is clear - I would have been deported to camps. I do not want to compare, but the last year and all the crazy developments that have been with the Corona have taught us that anything can happen. One day everything is normal, and another day you charge I need a pharmacy to find a mask. "

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Even thirty years after its release, this film continues to change the lives of those who watch it

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Being a Jew in Paris in 1942. From "Radiant Girl" (Photo: Cannes Film Festival)

"Radiant Girl" is the first film by Sandrine Kiberlan, also a Jew, who until now was best known as an actress. "Already at the casting stage, there was love between us at first sight. She has an extraordinary empathy for the actors and actresses who work with her, and she gives us confidence and knows how to lift us up," says Marder.

Marder, incredibly photogenic and talented, is the daughter of a journalist and a musician, who among other things wrote the music for the film. "From a young age I wanted to play, but my mother was not enthusiastic about it, and refused to sign any permits for me," she says. "I, too, have always been divided, and I felt it could not really be my profession. In middle school and high school, when I had to write down what profession I wanted to work in when I grew up, I always enrolled other subjects. I also planned to study something else at university, but in the end I felt frustrating. "And I became a full-time actress. Today I'm completely done with it."

The corona made you reconsider whether there is a future in this profession?

"We filmed 'Radiant Girl' during the Corona, and I remember after one of the filming days I got on the metro and saw a group of young people shouting and hugging. I was curious, so I asked one of them what the fuss was about. "For myself - here, even in such a dark and stressful period, through worries and masks, they still believe in the world of the game, they still dream and get excited. It moved me too."

So despite the publicity, you're still traveling by metro.

"Sure, every day. I have a hobby - after every show, I rush to the metro, to ride in the same car with people watching me on stage. Sometimes I play with a wig or with costumes, so I am not recognized when I take them off. I usually do not. "Participating in nude scenes, but there was a show where I did one. I was standing in the subway behind some young guys who didn't recognize me, and they talked about it enthusiastically and shouted at me excitedly 'Yo, did you see what ass this actress has'?"

Do you experience sexism in industry and culture?

"The fight against patriarchy is daily, and therefore exhausting. Look at the wage gap, in the world of culture and in any other industry, and in contrast to the amount of women murdered in France each year. We have a lot of work to do. We are advancing in some areas Abortions in different countries. "

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"Sharon Stone has been lying for thirty years. She gave me her panties as a gift."

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Rebecca Marder (left) at the recent Cannes Film Festival with "Radiant Girl" director Sandrine Kiberlan (Photo: GettyImages, François Durand)

In recent years, a number of articles about Marder have been published in leading media in France, and all of them define it as one of the great promises in the local cultural world. We mentioned earlier just a few of her current and future projects. The list is still long, and the hand is still outstretched - both on stage and behind the camera.

Marder divides her time between theater and cinema, and says that for her these are two separate worlds. "In cinema, I film something for thirty seconds, and then there is a break for all sorts of technical matters, and I only return to the role after an hour," she says. "In the theater, I'm in a trance on stage for two hours or more. In Comedy Frances we do rehearsals for very intense and in-depth weeks with characters, and sometimes I also get to attend different shows and play different characters that weekend. In cinema, of course, it's not like that. I do not refer to it. "About two different parts of the same craft, but about two different professions, but they violate each other."

Instagram is a job for you?

"I'm really bad at it. I upload something once in a while because I was told there is no choice and the game has to be played. It also took over this festival. "

Six years ago, all the headlines in France talked about you being "the youngest actress in comedy Frances" and so on.

How frustrated are you about that over time?

"Being 'the youngest' can be tiring. I am not interested in staying young forever. I have been working in the profession for six years, and I prefer to be treated as an adult."

"Radiant Girl" will be screened at the Haifa Festival on Sunday, September 19 at 3:15 PM and on Saturday, September 25 at 6:15 PM.

To order tickets, see the official website.

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Source: walla

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