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A Very French Auteur

Shivah Stars

by
Marc Tracy
April 19, 2012
Claude Miller.(AFP/NYT)

Claude Miller.(AFP/NYT)

Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, there are several compelling contenders whose subjects we are sad to see go, including Irving Howe collaborator Kenneth Libo and Grossinger’s tummler Lou Goldstein (check out this video of Goldstein playing Simon Says on, of all things, Dick Clark’s show).

However, this week it’s that of Claude Miller, a French director who was the protégé of the great François Truffaut (whose biological father was Jewish, which I bet you didn’t know). Miller comes across as very French—”I’m concerned with cruelty;” “Niceness bores me”—and his defining early film was 1988’s The Little Thief, based on an unfinished Truffaut script and featuring a 17-year-old Charlotte Gainsburg. But in 2007, he made Un secret, a surely autobiographical film about a boy who imagines his Jewish parents during the Occupation.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.