3 user 7 critic

The Birch-Tree Meadow (2003)

La petite prairie aux bouleaux (original title)
Myriam is a French Jew and a holocaust survivor. Sixty years after her imprisonment in Auschwitz she decides to do something daring. She returns there to finally confront her painful past. ... See full summary »


Marceline Loridan Ivens (as Marceline Loridan-Ivens)


Marceline Loridan Ivens (as Marceline Loridan-Ivens), Jeanne Moreau | 2 more credits »
2 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Anouk Aimée ... Myriam
August Diehl ... Oskar
Marilu Marini Marilu Marini ... Suzanne
Zbigniew Zamachowski ... Gutek
Claire Maurier Claire Maurier ... Ginette
Monique Couturier Monique Couturier ... Rachel
Nathalie Nerval Nathalie Nerval ... Vieille femme
Élise Otzenberger Élise Otzenberger ... Sarah
Keren Marciano Keren Marciano ... Nourith
Mireille Perrier Mireille Perrier ... Femme à Auschwitz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pawel Burczyk ... Waiter
Zuriel De Peslouan
Artur Dziurman ... Portier
Dorota Liliental Dorota Liliental
Anna Radwan


Myriam is a French Jew and a holocaust survivor. Sixty years after her imprisonment in Auschwitz she decides to do something daring. She returns there to finally confront her painful past. At Auschwitz she meets another person who is looking for answers-a young German photographer Oskar, whose grandfather was an SS officer. Written by Aljaz Ciber, Slovenia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






France | Germany | Poland


French | Polish | English

Release Date:

12 November 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Birkenau und Rosenfeld See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Birkenau means Birch Tree Meadow
22 March 2003 | by phmwSee all my reviews

An Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor returns to the camp sixty-years later. The story follows her visit, her reactions, her mood swings.

Documentary or fiction? Marceline Loridan-Ivens--herself a death camp survivor--directs a harrowing autobiographical story in which the fictional blends with the environment, and memories of the past are still very vivid, not through flashbacks, but through the viewer's own imagination. Filmed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the film is a touching performance by Anouk Aimée. Her reactions (she had not prepared the part but let herself react to the situations) are disturbing, but in a positive way. As Myriam confronts the ghosts of her past, she is caught between her will to remember, and her will to forget, navigating to and fro fron reason to near-insanity. The variations of her mood are contrasted to the stability of Oskar (remarkably well played by August Diehl), a young German photographer, grandson of an SS.

Disturbing, harrowing, and painful at times, "La Petite Prairie aux Bouleaux" (The Birch Tree Meadow, or Birkenau in German) is a touching film. Through its simplicity, it manages to deal with a delicate subject with concern and honesty.

Please note Jeanne Moreau's contribution in the writing team, and also Zbigniew Zamachowski's appearance as Gutek.

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