Monsieur Mayonnaise

2017 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Monsieur Mayonnaise is a family history documentary full of surprises — at once quirky and poignant. Artist and filmmaker Philippe Mora unravels his family’s journey through war and holocaust–ravaged Europe to Melbourne, Australia. Through his artwork, Mora takes us on a search to find out more about his late father Georges, whose bohemian Melbourne life overlays a largely unknown role in the French resistance during the Second World War.

Monsieur Mayonnaise is a pastiche of historical footage, research, interviews, music, art and stories. It is a concoction that works — using family history to engage with larger historical issues. We discover how Georges Mora and Marcel Marceau helped scores of Jewish children escape from Nazi-occupied France into Switzerland, and why Georges was known as ‘Monsieur Mayonnaise’. At times dark, at others uplifting, Monsieur Mayonnaise is a compelling and unique engagement with history.