Ashcan: a documentary about a secret prison in Luxembourg

At the occasion of the 2020 edition of the Washington DC Francophonie Cultural Festival, the Embassy of Luxembourg participates with the screening of a film that is quite atypical in nature. Conceived as a documentary theatrical fiction, Ashcan tells the story of the homonymous secret prison where U.S. military intelligence kept 72 Nazi leaders for extensive interrogation after the end of World War II.

Without the use of any force or torture, the chosen method to keep all these prisoners in the same cell – located at Mondorf-les-Bains in Luxembourg – and questioning them in order to obtain sensitive, first-hand information on what it had been like to participate in one of the worst crimes against humanity.

Seeking to recreate this historical event, Willy Perelsztejn , the filmmaker of Ashcan, chose an original way to create the film: he followed the actors of the National Theatre of Luxembourg during the eight weeks of rehearsals needed to create the play Codename Ashcan. During this time, Perelsztejn captured the actors’ questioning about the complex characters they played as a way to understand the questions that historians and other experts have posed in order to understand this dark chapter in the history of humankind.

Who were the prisoners at Ashcan? Who interrogated them? What did the prison look like? How were the prisoners treated? What interrogation techniques did the Americans apply and what information did they obtain? These and more fascinating questions are both exposed and answered with Ashcan, a Luxembourgish and Belgian co-production released in 2018.

We hope that you will join us for this one-time screening on Thursday, March 12th at 7:00 p.m. The screening will take place at La Maison Française at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. Ashcan will be screened in its original version in German, French and English with English subtitles.

RSVPs are required. Please click here to confirm your attendance and ensure your seat.

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