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 Because I Was a Painter - © Joseph Richter, Copie informatique d’un dessin clandestin à la Ghetto Fighter’s House – qui possède l’une des plus vaste collection d’œuvres issues des camps nazis. Jour2Fête

Because I Was a Painter

A Feature film by Christophe Cognet

Produced by La Huit Production

Release in France : 05/03/2014

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Production and distribution (2)

Executive Producer :

La Huit Production

French distribution :

Jour2Fête / Jour 2 fête

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Box office: Timeline

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I don't dare say it, but for a painter, it was incredibly beautiful. It was absolutely necessary that it be reproduced, represented, so as to have a trace afterwards. - Zoran Music, Dachau prisoner.

This film is an unusual investigation into the art works secretly produced in Nazi concentration camps. The few artists sent to the camps who are still alive, along with the conservators of the artists' works, appear in the film, which speaks of the emotion provoked by these works, the artists' marginalization, their renown, or their anonymity, their style, and also the representation of horror and extermination.
Above all, perhaps, the film lingers on and contemplates the drawings, wash drawings, and paintings conserved in French, German, Israeli, Polish, Czech, Belgian, and Swiss archives.
This journey among the fragments of secret images and the ruins of the former camps hence offers a sensitive quest between faces, bodies, and landscapes so as to ponder the notion of the work of art and boldly question the idea of beauty.
A disturbing enterprise, perhaps, but it allows us to then better imagine what the camps were really like, to understand the possibilities of art, and sense what an artist's honor is all about - as minute and fragile as the gesture of drawing may be..



Photos (8)

Full credits (10)

Producer :

Stéphane Jourdain

Screenwriters :

Christophe Cognet, Jean Breshand, Pierre-François Moreau

Sound recordist :

Graciela Barrault

Press Attaché (film) :

Annie Maurette

Sound Editor :

Didier Cattin

Associate Producer :

Gilles Le Mao

Director of Photography :

Nara Keo Kosal

Production managers :

Frédéric Duuez, Alain Bastide

Editor :

Catherine Zins

Sound Mixer :

Jean-Marc Schick

Technical details

Feature film

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Production language :

French, Polish, German, Hebrew

Coproducer countries :

France, Germany

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (France, Germany)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 44 min

Current status :


Visa number :


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Audio format :

Dolby SR

Posters (1)



Festival Selections

Rome Film Festival - 2013

Rome Film Festival (Italy, 2013)


Cinema XXI Section