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Murder of a Hatmaker (Assassinat d’une Modiste)


Between her birth on July 2, 1901, and her deportation to Auschwitz on July 18, 1943, Odette Bernstein’s life left few traces except in administrative archives. This young, independent woman from a well-off family in Neuilly-sur-Seine was the filmmaker’s great aunt. Before World War II, she started her own hatmaking business and changed her name to Fanny Berger. Her business thrived near the Champs Elysées until the Vichy government’s anti-Jewish laws took hold. Forbidden from contacting clients or opening bank accounts, she wore the yellow star and tried to escape to the free zone but was caught and interned in Drancy camp. Her business was Aryanized and sold. By 1942, she had lost her home, business, and rights.


  • Educational Media Reviews Online
    The film is beautifully shot. The various locales associated with Fanny’s life make Fanny’s presence felt. Still, the film is anything but lachrymose. It sustains an almost documentary sobriety as it relates its painful story, and is all the more poignant for it.
    Rebecca Adler Schiff

Festival Participation

  • NY Jewish Film Festival
  • “Les rendez-vous avec l’histoire” Film Festival in Blois France
  • “Les étonnants voyageurs” Film Festival in Saint-Malo – France

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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