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Manaudou & Bousquet Linked To Nakache Film

Jun 10, 2009  - Craig Lord

Laure Manaudou, the most successful French swimmer in history, and her boyfriend Fred Bousquet, may star in a film based on the tragic story of Alfred Nakache, an Olympic swimmer for France in the 1930s and 1940s.

L'Equipe reports today that Jean Bodon, a professor at the University of Alabama, is producing a film called "As the Raven Cries". He has asked Manaudou and Bousquet if they would wish to work on the project. For now, the "door remains open". Bousquet has a busy summer ahead at world championships in Rome as he attempts to win the first big long-course prize of his solo career. Bousquet's four medals at Olympic (silver), world and European l/c events (three bronze) were all won in the 4x100m freestyle with his French teammates.

The story of Alfred “Artem” Nakache is one that transcends swimming and sport. It is a tale of human experience that most of us pray may never come to visit our lives. A man who was said to "walk like Charlie Chaplin and laugh like Henri Salvador", Nakache raced in front of Hitler at the 1936 Games, broke the world 200m record in 1941 but in 1943 was arrested by the Gestapo as a Jew and taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. 

Born in Constantine, Algeria, on November 18, 1915, Nakache became known as the “Swimmer of Auschwitz". His wife and 2-year-old daughter Annie died in a gas chamber there. Nakache managed to swim while at Auschwitz; in the camp water tanks. After surviving the camp, Nakache raced at the 1948 Games: no longer the man he once was, he was eliminated in the semis.

  • In other news from France, the swim federation has demanded of FINA the list of extra suits, modified and retested, as soon as possible so that the Paris Open, June 20-21, can tell swimmers what can be worn. FINA has given suit makers that had suits rejected after independent testing for buoyancy and air-trapping, until June 19 to resubmit modified apparel. The Paris Open could, of course, make it simple: apply what has been applied on the Mare Nostrum Tour, where measures are as good as they probably can be right now in the muddy waters of transition that swimming is wading through in the midst of a suits crisis.