Kichka: Life Is a Cartoon
Kichka: Life Is a Cartoon is a film about the relationship between a son and his father, the latter a victim of and witness to the Holocaust. It shows that such a trauma determines the psychology of all the members of a family. In spite of, or perhaps indeed due to the distressing theme, the film is full of lightness, affection and hope. Henri Kichka was born in Brussels in 1926. In 1942 he was arrested by the Gestapo, together with his parents and two sisters. He spent three years imprisoned in various concentration camps. His mother and sisters were murdered. His father died on the way to Buchenwald, from which Henri was liberated in 1945. After the war, Henri Kichka returned to Brussels and married. He had four children: Hannah, Michel, Iréne and Charly. His son Michel Kichka was born in Seraing in 1954. At the age of 20, he emigrated to Israel, started his family and embarked on a career as cartoonist. In 2012 he published the graphic novel Second Generation, devoted to Michel’s younger brother, who committed suicide. The main theme, however, is the relationship between the son and the father, who had been a victim of and witness to the Holocaust. The book shows that such a trauma determines the psychology of all the members of a family. In one of the most intense moments of the film, father and son visit the house where Henri Kichka was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942. The 63-year-old Michel has never been there before, the 91-year-old Henri avoids this place which for him is filled with the worst memories of the moment that was to change his life horrifically and irrevocably. This scene is featured on the poster of the film.