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11 FRENCH FILMS DEALING WITH THE OCCUPATION OF FRANCE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

posted 24 Sep 2013, 07:47 by Julian Whiting

Over the next few weeks I will be posting lists of films that are linked by a theme. Always happy to hear any  feedback..  Here I have listed 11 films dealing with France in the Second World War.  Another wartime list will follow with the remaining films.

Army of CrimeL’ARMEE DU CRIME/ARMY OF CRIME  (15) 2009  FRANCE    GUEDIGUIAN, ROBERT    DVD – £15.99
French World War II drama chronicling the famous 1944 ‘Red Poster’ case, in which a group of foreign partisans defied French apathy to form their own resistance against the Nazi occupation.

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Army of Shadows

L’ARMEE DES OMBRES/ARMY OF SHADDOWS (12) 1969  FRANCE  MELVILLE, J.P.  DVD -  £24.99
Based on the Joseph Kessel novel the film is one of the greatest and the most authentic film  portrayals of the French Resistance.

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Bon VoyageBON VOYAGE (12) 2004 FRANCE  RAPPENEAU, JEAN PAUL  DVD -  £19.99
Paris 1940. The eve of the Nazi takeover. Seven people flee the capital for Bordeaux in order to  escape the occupation, taking shelter at the Hotel Splendide.

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Wedding SongLE CHANT DES MARIÉES /THE WEDDING SONG (15) 2008 FRANCE  ALBO, KARIN U    IN ARABIC & FRENCH DVD -  £15.99
Drama set during World War Two, following two women who try to maintain their friendship under difficult circumstances. Nour and Myriam, an Arab and a Jew who have been best pals since childhood, find their lives in turmoil as the Nazis gain control over Tunis

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Sorrow and the PityLE CHAGRIN ET LA PITIÉ/SORROW AND THE PITY (E) FRANCE 1969  OPHULS, MARCEL  DVD -  £24.99 
Film combines interviews with archive footage to explore the reality of occupation of the industrial city Clermont-Ferrand by the Germans in World War Two.

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Last MetroLE DERNIER MÉTRO/LAST METRO (PG) FRANCE 1980 TRUFFAUT, FRANCOISDVD -  £19.99
The year is 1942, and Paris is occupied by German forces. Jewish theatre owner Lucas Steiner (Heinz Bennent) has handed over the control of his theatre to his actress wife Marion (Catherine Deneuve) while he hides out in the cellar, hoping to avoid capture by the Nazis. During rehearsals for the next production, the presence of a womanising actor (Gerard Depardieu) and a Nazi-sympathising journalist cause many difficulties for Marion.

Eventually, she is forced to decide between her loyalty to her husband and her love for her countrymen, and acts out her solution in the production she has been rehearsing. Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, the film also won 10 French Academy Awards in 1981.



SarahELLE S’APPELAIT SARAH/SARAH’S KEY (12) 2010  FRANCE  PAQUET-BRENNER, G.  DVD -   £17.99
A Jewish girl’s story opens wounds from France’s wartime past.  Living in Paris while her architect husband Bertrand (Frederic Pierrot) restores his family’s apartment block, writer Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) stumbles across the wartime history of the block’s original Jewish owners, who were arrested by the Vichy government as part of the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of 1942 and forced to sell their property. As the story unfolds, Julia becomes increasingly haunted by the fate of ten-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Melusine Mayance), who, after being detained, escapes in a desperate attempt to return to the block where she has secretly hidden her younger brother.





ENFANTS DU PARADISENFANTS DU PARADIS (PG) 1945 FRANCE  B/W   CARNE, MARCEL  DVD -  £19.99 BLU-RAY £22.99
Marcel Carne’s greatest work was made in  German-occupied  France  during the 2nd World   War. The story  intertwines the fates of four men who love one woman in 1820s  Paris. The central figure of the film, Garance, has also been likened to a symbol of a liberated  France, a woman who will never be dominated.

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Free Men

LES HOMMES LIBRES/FREE MEN (12) 2011 FRANCE FERROUKHI, ISMAEL DVD -  £15.99
World War Two drama set in German-occupied Paris in 1942. Tahar Rahim stars as Younes, a young, unemployed, Algerian immigrant who is inspired   to become a freedom fighter after forming an unexpected friendship with Jewish singer Salim Halali (Mahmud Shalaby).

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Days of GloryINDIGÈNES/DAYS OF GLORY (12) 2006  FRANCE     BOUCHAREB, R.  DVD -  £5.99  BLU RAY – £22.99
This award-winning film  shows WWII through the eyes of four North African soldiers fighting for the French army during the German occupation.

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FORBIDDEN GAMESJEUX INTERDITS /FORBIDDEN GAMES (12) 1952 FRANCE    CLÉMENT, RENÉ   DVD -  £15.99
Set in France in 1940, the story follows five-year-old Paulette, who is left traumatised after her parents are killed in a Nazi air attack.  10 year old  Michel helps her cope with the deaths.

In French with English subtitles

DVD available to buy at –http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/french-dvds

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