Randolph College will host a special rough-cut preview of Cojot, a feature-length documentary that follows the life of Michel Cojot-Goldberg, a Nazi hunter, Entebbe hostage, and ultimately, a Klaus Barbie trial witness. The screening event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in Nichols Theatre, inside the Student Center.
At the event, the audience will have a rare opportunity to provide input on a work-in-progress. The documentary was shot in numerous locations in France, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States. Cojot is composed from hundreds of hours of footage, archival documents, and animation. The film includes interviews with Cojot family members, international Nazi hunters Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, and Operation Entebbe lead pilot Joshua Shani. This footage, intercut with creative animation, makes for a riveting character study.
Cojot is directed and produced by Boaz Dvir, a journalism professor at Penn State University. Gayle Zachmann, a Jewish studies and of French professor at University of Florida, is the historical consultant and producer. Both Dvir and Zachmann will lead the discussion and solicit feedback after the film.
“Although the story of an individual, the life of Cojot-Goldberg spans the second half of the 20th century and speaks to a number of different histories,” Zachmann said. “From the resistance of individuals and families, hidden children, the rise of fascism, and the plight of French Jews during the Occupation, to those of post-war memory, justice, and modern terror.”
This event is part one of a two-part Driver Lecture series this spring. The next event is scheduled for April 8, and will feature a film screening and discussion with artist and director Amy Jenkins, who will show her award-winning film, Instructions on Parting (2018). In the film, Jenkins confronts the cancer diagnosis of her mother, sister, and brother, and also welcomes her first child to life. Crafted in a unique visual style, the film weaves breathtaking vignettes of nature unfolding with cinéma vérité family footage to lead audiences to a bold and daring acceptance of our human mortality. This event is also free and open to the public, and begins at 7 p.m. in Nichols Theatre.
“As a teacher of documentary history, I am thrilled to be able to show students two very different types of documentaries,” said Jennifer Gauthier, a communication studies professor at Randolph. “The two films show us that telling a ‘true’ story can take place in many ways—using such techniques as animation, fine art, narration, interviews, personal reflection, and archival footage. We hope the community, both at Randolph and beyond, will come and take advantage of these unique opportunities to see two very different documentary films in Lynchburg.”
These events are sponsored by The Sara Driver ’77 Digital Filmmaking Course and Lecture Series Funded by Martha (Lou) Miller Driver ’50.
“We are so grateful to the Driver family for the support of these events,” Gauthier said. “Randolph College continues to develop a vibrant film culture with our lectures, classes, and student work.”