„The Massacre“ — new film project for 2022



In June 1944, an SS division completely destroyed the central French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. With its 643 victims – over 200 of them children – it is still the largest and most traumatic crime in Western European war history. At Oradour-sur-Glane, Rau and his team continue casting and rehearsing these days their new hybrid film “The Massacre” – together with the families of the survivors.


The film also features Robert Hébras, the last survivor of the SS massacre, who was awarded l’Ordre national du mérite by French President Macron last week.You are a symbol of freedom, dignity and fraternity, the President said to Hébras, praising the tireless work of memory done by the man who witnessed the June 10, 1944 massacre for decades. But can such a crime be turned into a film?


Milo Rau’s new film is being developed as a collaboration between the Belgian theatre company NTGent, German film production Fruitmarket Kultur und Medien GmbH, Swiss producer Langfilm and French production company Les Contes Modernes.


“In “The Massacre” the victims empower themselves, transcend their suffering and take over the direction.” Milo Rau




After years of preparation, the Institute of Fine Arts in the war-thorn city of Mosul has started last autumn a structural collaboration with Milo Rau and the Belgian theatre company NTGent for the creation of a Film Department. An ambitious project supported by and part of the UNESCO-program “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”.


“We live in Mosul, we know everything that happened,” declares one of the students, 20-year-old Mohammed Fawaz, “now we want to show it all to the world through cinema”. The first 9 fictional short films will be presented to the Mosul audience this spring and then go on tour through the world. “The goal now is to secure funding to keep the cinema department running”, says Milo Rau. “The next step will be to have a small Mosul film festival – continuing what we started”.


“This collaboration allows us to develop the capabilities of students as well as teachers, but it’s also a chance to tell the whole world about the reality in the city of Mosul.” Suleik Salem Al-Khabbaz – Institute of Fine Arts Mosul