A young woman joins a group of D-Day veterans on a pilgrimage to retrace their route from World War II. “Sunken Roads” follows their journey, painting an intimate portrait of these soldiers during their final return to Normandy. “Sunken Roads” tells a story of inter generational friendship, offering a new perspective on D-Day by presenting the memories of 90-year-old men through the eyes of a 20-year-old woman.
Filmmaker Charlotte Juergens spent weeks traveling with the veterans and serving as a health aide to Don McCarthy, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease. Don and the other veterans came to see Charlotte as a granddaughter, trusting her with their stories and speaking openly about the trauma they experienced in Normandy as young men. During this time, Charlotte lived with a friend of Don’s named Suzette Gandon, who survived D-Day as a young girl in France. Suzette’s perspective on D-Day illuminates the experience of French civilians who lost everything during the invasion.
Given the recent 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, Sunken Roads is a particularly timely film. “Sunken Roads” allows us to learn D-Day’s history through the voices of the men and women who experienced it, to understand its meaning as both a historic event and a personal nightmare, and to contemplate its significance 75 years later.
Charlotte Juergens is a documentary filmmaker and archival researcher, working to recover stories that have been obscured by time and memory. “Sunken Roads: Three Generations After D-Day” is Charlotte’s first feature-length film. Aside from Sunken Roads, Charlotte works as an archival researcher at NBC News Archives, helping documentarians and curators unearth archival footage for their projects. Charlotte previously served as an archival researcher for the Academy Award-nominated short documentary, “Joe’s Violin”. She received her B.A. in History from Yale in 2016 and her M.A. in History from the University of Chicago in 2018.