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The Statement

The Statement

The Statement is a 2003 drama film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Michael Caine. It is based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Brian Moore, and the screenplay was written by Ronald Harwood. The plot was inspired by the true story of Paul Touvier, a Vichy French police official, who was indicted after World War II for war crimes. In 1944, Touvier ordered the execution of seven Jews in retaliation for the Resistance's assassination of Vichy France minister Philippe Henriot. For decades after the war he escaped trial thanks to an intricate web of protection, which allegedly included senior members of the Roman Catholic priesthood. He was arrested in 1989 inside a Traditionalist Catholic priory in Nice and was convicted in 1994. He died in prison in 1996. The Statement is the most recent film directed by Jewison.

Plot

Pierre Brossard (Caine), a French Nazi collaborator, orders seven Jews executed during World War II. Some 40 years later, he is pursued by "David Manenbaum" (Matt Craven), a hitman who is under orders to kill Brossard and leave a printed 'Statement' on his body proclaiming the assassination was vengeance for the Jews executed in 1944. Brossard kills "Manenbaum," hiding the dead body after finding the printed "Statement" and discovering that his pursuer was travelling on a Canadian passport. Brossard for years has taken refuge in sanctuaries in southern France within the Traditionalist Catholic community, appealing to long-time allies who have operated in great secrecy to shield him and provide him with funds. But now they bring increased scrutiny to themselves for continuing to do so.