My grandmother, «Madame Charlotte», has always been the most controversial figure in my family. Wherever she appears, strange things happen, resulting in countless stories and just as many versions of each one.

Her grandma's life has always been fascinating to Jasmine Jacot-Descombes. As a child, she merely found it amusing that she taught her to steal or had to flee the country from time to time; in later years, her grandmother's audacity fascinated her as much as it repelled her.
Since Charlotte has had major health problems since October 2019 and according to doctors doesn't have long to live, Jasmine didn't want to miss the chance to also talk to her about her life and her reasons: What mattered most to her, if she has any regrets, and if she would go back to living her life the way she did.
The film MADAME CHARLOTTE was made as part of Jasmine Jacot-Descombes' diploma thesis at the Zurich University of the Arts in 2020. She conducted over a dozen interviews, including with Charlotte's employees in Kpalime, relatives and acquaintances of hers.
But she also researched "evil" and spoke with an evangelical pastor as well as the senior physician at a psychiatric hospital. All this background information helped her to trace Charlotte's nature as faithfully as possible.

the movie

If English subtitles don't appear automatically, click the subtitle button in the player.

The story of Madame Charlotte's life begins with this question. After an unpleasant childhood, Charlotte fled from one marriage to the next and was always on the move. Her life is retold by herself and her two daughters, where the narrative points of view often diverge widely. MADAME CHARLOTTE by Jasmine Jacot-Descombesis as much an investigation into her family history as it is an examination of her own morals. «IS MY GRANDMA EVIL?»
See for yourself.

A Coproduction of ZÜrcher Hochschule der KÜnste and the Swiss Radio and Television SRF.

©2021 Jasmine Jacot-Descombes, ZHdK Design, Cast / Audiovisual Media

Imprint & Legal