Culture News, 27/11/2017

French Documentary Screening in Kharkiv

The French “If I ever come back. Louise Pikovsky’s found letters” documentary screening took place in Knygarnya Ye bookstore last week.

According to the organizers, letters and photographs were found in old drawers of the Lyceum named after Jean de La Fontaine, located in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, France, during the institution’s relocation in 2010. They had been stored there for many decades, belonging to the former Lyceum’s student Louise Pikovsky.

She had intensively corresponded with her language and literature teacher for a few months. The last letter was dated January 22, 1944, – the day when she was arrested together with her family. After their imprisonment in the concentration camp in Dres, her father, mother and four children were deported to Auschwitz. They have never come back from there.

Pikovsky Family

Discovering this documentation, France 24 channel journalist Stéphanie Trouillard helped schoolteacher, Khalida Khutchi to recreate the girl’s livelihood.

The main character’s father was from Mykolaiv. His family moved to France, fleeing from Jewish rampage in the Russian Empire.

“I’m interested in this subject, as my great-uncle was among the Resistance movement partisans. I started looking for information, writing an article. And now people contact me to help them study their families’ history,” the film’s author noted.

She presented her work during a discussion in Kharkiv. The documentary’s presentations took place in various Ukrainian cities including Kyiv, Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Dnipro and Zaporizhia.

The event’s organizers are Khygarnya E and Alliance Francaise in Ukraine. The presentation is held in partnership with Alliance Francaise in Ukraine, France 24 and RFI.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: Misto.kh, Webdoc.france24