7.7/10
23
1 user 11 critic

Monsieur Mayonnaise (2016)

An epic adventure starring artists, werewolves, heroes, Nazis, a comic book & baguettes ....with lashings of French mayonnaise!

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ruth Fivaz-Silberman ...
Herself
Georges Loinger ...
Himself
Dominic Mora ...
Himself
Mirka Mora ...
Philippe Mora ...
Himself
Dr. Henri Parens ...
Himself
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Storyline

Monsieur Mayonnaise is an artist's epic adventure into his family's secret past. Australian artist and film-maker, Philippe Mora, investigates his father's clandestine role in the French Résistance in WW2 and his mother's miraculous escape enroute to Auschwitz. Philippe, a Hollywood cult-horror movie director and pop-artist, adopts a Film Noir persona to tell his family's story. He also packs his paints and easel, as he embarks on a journey to create an audacious comic book about his parents, their survival and the Holocaust. From LA to Berlin, Paris to Melbourne, Monsieur Mayonnaise is a richly layered, road movie starring artists, real life heroes, Nazi villains ... and baguettes with lashings of tasty French mayonnaise!

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Less than meets the eye
17 July 2017 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Monsieur Mayonnaise (2016) is an Australian documentary that was co-produced, written, and directed by Trevor Graham. The film is about the graphic artist Philippe Mora. It follows Mora as he looks into his family's past, and turns what he learns into a graphic novel.

The publicity for the film emphasizes the true fact that Mora's father, Dominic Mora, was a heroic member of the French Resistance. In fact, he and Marcel Marceau found a way to use baguettes with mayonnaise loaded with garlic to send secret documents. Although this is fascinating, it's actually just a small part of the movie. (However, it's where the title Monsieur Mayonnaise originated.)

Mora's mother and father moved to Australia after the war ended, and were part of a very active artistic circle. All this is converted by Mora into his graphic novel.

The film struck me as entertaining, but too self-referential and self-serving. Mora is an interesting artist, but graphic, comic-book style art is not my thing. His father was truly a hero, but the book Mora created wasn't about heroism, it was about Mora and his family. It wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't a great film either.

We saw the movie in the beautiful JCC Hart Theater, as part of the outstanding Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. We saw 12 films at the festival, most of which were truly excellent. For me this movie was the weak link, but not everyone is going to be enchanted by every film.

The RIJFF itself is worth a special trip if you live anywhere in Upstate New York. Get on their mailing list, because some of the films will be shown again in the next 12 months. Plan to attend RIJFF in 2018 if you can. You'll be happy you did.


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