Once Upon a Time in France tells the true story of Joseph Joanovici, an illiterate Romanian Jewish immigrant who nevertheless made his fortune under the occupation. Once upon a time in France has been widely praised by critics for the quality of its script and its cutting. A series which keeps all its promises, and which should end in 6 volumes. Must read.
1943. France is bloodless, occupied for almost three years by the Nazis. Jospeh Joanovici, on the other hand, raised a lot of money by selling his scrap metal to the occupier. Too much money ! Joseph feels the tide and is considering defeat in Germany ... He knows he will need "sacred certificates of morality, to justify all this money". Joseph therefore decided to invest ... in the resistance.
This is the start of a mind-blowing double game, which will see Joseph infiltrate, manipulate, lead the Gestapo on Lauriston Street as well as the "Honor and Police" network ... But some know. On both sides, the noose is tightening. The Nazis will not let go of Joseph so easily, and the Resistance will not trust him so easily ...
Joseph is in the breach. More and more. A prisoner of his lies, of his dirty tricks, it is a miracle if he manages to survive until 1944 ... And when the allies arrive, it will not necessarily be good news for him. But as one Resistance member said: “Joseph Joanovici sees far. He knows it's in his best interest to help us ... "
The story of Joseph Joanovici known as "Monsieur Jo" is a complex story which cannot be ignored. A Jewish immigrant in the 1920s in France, he will build a colossal fortune during the occupation, but also make himself indispensable to the Nazis, a way to save his life and that of his family?
An ambiguous character about whom we know very little, Joseph Joanovici died ruined in 1965, after being “softly” questioned by French justice. He will be one of only three Jews to be denied Israeli citizenship because of his collaborationist activities during the war.
Based on a screenplay once again brilliantly cut by Fabien Nury (Je suis Légion, WEST with Xavier Dorison) and cleverly drawn up by Sylvain Vallée, Once Upon a Time in France endeavors to underline the ambiguity. of Monsieur Jo, and also his choices, often dictated by money, but also by an astonishing survival instinct.
Without taking sides or judging, the authors offer us here a personal vision of Mr. Jo's life, with great intelligence. Note that in 2001, Josée Dayan directed a TV movie "The Strange Monsieur Joseph" with Roger Hanin in the lead role. This adaptation was criticized for its "benevolent" vision of Joseph Joanovici.
Once Upon a Time in France was widely hailed by critics for the quality of its script and its cutting. Must read.
Volume 2 received in 2009 the Saint-Michel Prize awarded by the city of Brussels.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN FRANCE
Screenplay: Fabien Nury
Drawings: Sylvain Vallée
Volume 1: The Empire of Monsieur Joseph (2007)
Volume 2: The Black Flight of the Crows (2008)
Volume 3: Honor and Police (2009)