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Jean-Louis Cremieux Brilhac. A Century of Democracy , a documentary film by Timothy Miller. 52'

Produced by Laurence Uebersfeld

A great historian of the French Resistance, Jean-Louis Crémieux Brilhac has been a witness and actor in many events that have shaped France throughout much of the Twentieth Century.


Crémieux Brilhac was born northwest of Paris in 1917. Growing up during the politically turbulent years following World War I, he joined the Committee of Antifascist Intellectuals at the age of only 17.

Mobilised five years later, Crémieux Brilhac refused to indulge in the prevailing defeatism and became an active fighter, prisoner, escapee and resister. Even at the worst of times he never doubted the Republic and never gave up the fight for its democratic ideals.

In 1941, Crémieux Brilhac left France to join General Charles de Gaulle and his Free French Army in London. From his base there he became responsible for the dissemination of propaganda in occupied France.

Jean-Louis Crémieux Brilhac was the man who prepared France for D-Day.

After Liberation in 1944 and the end of the war, Crémieux Brilhac continued his fight for democracy and freedom. Under Pierre Mendès’ France, he worked tirelessly to make scientific research a priority in French politics.

In 1980, Crémieux Brilhac returned to his war years and began to write the history of 1939-40 France and Free France to explain how the Republic was weakened to the point of complete collapse and how the Free French Forces fought to restore it.

With many parallels in today’s politics, this is a story as much about contemporary France as it is about one man and his lifelong fight for democratic freedom..

First minute of the film   Teaser
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A coproduction

Lufilms / Toute L'histoire / TV Tours

With the support of

Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah
Ministère de la défense, secrétariat général pour l'administration, direction de la mémoire, du patrimoine et des archives
100% Mécénat
CBC Radio Canada