“Who wants to burn Santa Claus?”: Have the hard myth

France, December 1951. In Dijon, a mannequin bearing the effigy of Santa Claus is burned under the eyes of 150 seized children. Before the UN, the same year, the good paunchy fellow is indicted. Born in the depths of the ages, his story shows him sometimes adored, sometimes boasted, changing pace with the times and their reluctance. Axel Clevenot and Julien Boustani retrace the most telling milestones in the applied and funny Who wants to burn Santa Claus?

The French documentary opens with a croquignolesque skit, Jean-Christophe Quenon by making tons in the narration to coat the wanderings of a modern Santa Claus at two cents. Fortunately, enlightened observers are quickly called to the bar. These in turn summon figures such as the god Odin, Santa Claus or the famous Saint Nicolas, whose gifts, especially ubiquity, will bristle so much Protestants. Alternating facts and anecdotes, the whole speaks as much to those who fall for the bearded as to those who have the flu.

Follower of consumerism, unrepentant promoter of junk food, we do not deprive ourselves to avoid it. The fact remains that in the end, it is the benevolent gaze of Françoise Dolto that wins, she who was appointed first secretary of Santa Claus when her brother, the Minister of PTT Jacques Marette, created the secretariat responsible for responding to letters children. To the sorrowful spirits who had accused her of encouraging lies, the psychoanalyst replied that the important thing was elsewhere, Santa Claus being first of all a myth imbued with a poetry on which the child feeds.

Who wants to burn Santa Claus?

ICI Télé, Saturday, December 18, 10:30 p.m. online on Tou.tv

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