‘Goodbye Children’ offers personal depiction of the Holocaust experience

Ty Davis

As part of Holocaust Awareness Week, Colorado State University hosted a showing of Louis Malles’ “Au Revoir Les Enfants”, which translates to “Goodbye Childre”. The film was shown in cooperation with Students for Holocaust Awareness Tuesday night in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

Every year Students for Holocaust Awareness organizes a week-long event of talks and presentations meant to educate students and the public about the events of the Holocaust. The events are sponsored by CSU, the Associated Students of CSU, Hillel of Colorado, Chabad at CSU, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Ad

Released in 1987, “Au Revoir Les Enfants” is an autobiographical film about director Louis Malles’ experiences at a Catholic boarding school that was hiding Jewish boys from Nazi occupiers. The film centers around Julien Quentin, the film’s stand in for Malles. Quentin befriends Jean Bonnet, a new student and academic rival, who is secretly being hidden by the school’s staff.

I think it does an incredible job of showing life in the ’40s and during war times, unlike a lot of the Hollywood films about the period.” -Henry Kiofski, vice president of Students for Holocaust Awareness

The film won 27 awards, including a BAFTA for best direction, and was nominated for two Oscars. After the showing, questions about the film were open to the audience, but the Theatre was starkly silent.

“It’s a film about the period that I think is a great one because of the personal connection the director had, because it’s a film that is not often very shown and I think it does an incredible job of showing life in the 1940s and during war times, unlike a lot of the Hollywood films about the period,” said Henry Kiofski, vice president of Students for Holocaust Awareness.

Saffron Shefman, the representative of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and member of Students for Holocaust Awareness, said the film was deliberately chosen for its honest portrayal of the Holocaust. 

“We wanted to show something that wasn’t dramatized or glamourized,” Shefman said. “We wanted to show something that was someone’s real perspective and I think this director does a good job. He took his passion and he took his career and he made something meaningful and he made something that’s going to speak to generations.” 

Holocaust Awareness Week events also featured a talk from Holocaust survivor Irving Roth, director of the Holocaust Resource Center for the Temple Judea in Manhasset, New York, Wednesday at 7 p.m in the LSC Ballroom. On Friday, there will be a Memorial Walk at 1 p.m. in the LSC Plaza.

Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @TyDavisACW.