Pierre Goldman was a criminal and far-left activist who in the mid-1970s managed to transform the trial of double homicide charges during a robbery of a pharmacy into a media and political case.


Confessed for some thefts, not only while he was in prison did he write an extremely successful book “Dark Memoirs of a Polish Jew born in France”, but when he found himself again in front of the judges he refused to call a man who could have tried to testify her alibi because she wanted to avoid involving him.

“ The lawyer does not fight for my innocence. I am innocent because I am innocent. It is ontological ”. His presence in the courtroom became a real show both for his continuous utterances and for the political implications that his eventual conviction or declaration of innocence would have meant: on the one hand his Jewish origins with a father who was a hero of the resistance, from On the other hand, his political militantism made him, potentially, an excellent scapegoat to show anti-Semitism and/or the reactionaryism of the forces of order. On this being the “victim of a conspiracy” he decided to base many of his defense attempts, finding a large part of the country ready to listen to him.

Le Procès Goldman , The Goldman trial byCédric Kahn, opening film of theDirectors’ FortnightatCannes 2023, recounts the last trial suffered by man. Except for a kind of prologue, a confrontation between two defense lawyers, the entire film takes place in court. Khan immediately manages to show his protagonist as a man in one piece and, on the other side, an unpleasant and at times racist prosecution lawyer: in a short time we are therefore on his side. From then on, each debate becomes an opportunity, in the eyes of the spectator, to understand whether or not what will emerge will be enough to exonerate Goldman. Khan, from this point of view, manages the suspense very well, also thanks to a way of doing trials which in France, in those years, was shown to be similar to a condominium meeting: anyone can stand up, interrupt and speak. The pace is excited, the outcome uncertain until the end.

From a cinematic point of view it is a compelling product. Too bad that, doing some research on what really happened, unlike the actor who plays him (Arieh Worthalter) the real Pierre Goldman really resembled a Middle Eastern (detail given by various witnesses) and that on that final judgment years later arose well reasoned doubts.