CINÉ-HISTOIRE is where film history and historical film meet. Cinéma du Musée proudly presents its new thematic series: five historical films showcasing one filmmaker, film era or topic. Each screening will be preceded by a brief introductory presentation and followed by a discussion led by an historian.

Recreating the past, making history, calls for skill, knowledge, and an attention to detail far beyond what is required for mere “costume dramas.” Screenwriters and film directors must be as meticulous as historians, analyzing every facet of history as they reconstruct the lives of complex characters often caught up in moral dilemmas. Only the greatest historical films are able to recreate the strangeness of the past while addressing themes that are both timeless and universal.

> History on Trial
August 25 – December 15 2022


'Let history be the judge' is a familiar expression used to avoid taking responsibility for a decision, especially political ones, because the short-term consequences are fraught with danger.
The link between 'History' and 'Judgement' has always been very close. It is common to claim that the work of a historian intersects with the profession of lawyers or criminal investigators.

Like a detective, the historian searches for traces of evidence and solicits all available testimony. Like the lawyer, she builds a dense and tight argument to convince a judge or a jury through the deft presentation of evidence. The work of the historian is never neutral since language is not: to choose certain words rather than others is always an act of judgment. The filmmaker doesn't act differently either: the tools of the director are the camera, dialogues and narration that create the cinematic experience.
This series, 'History on Trial' presents five films driven by crime and judgment. The films we have chosen here address the ambiguity of evil, responsibility, morality and justice. Each screening will interrogate a specific time and culture (1950s America, 1930s Germany and France, 12th century Japan and 1970s UK) and will allow us to reflect on the troubling complexity of the act of judgment. Ultimately, the audience will be the real jury of the cases presented to them.