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Les Honneurs / Reviews /
In 1979
François Truffaut

In 1988
Le Canard enchainé
Le Nouvel Observateur
Le Monde


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Dear Jean,

I'm filled with pride to see "Les Honneurs de la Guerre" now featured in the Carrosse catalogue and I wanted to tell you so, for I love this beautiful film: it will never go out of fashion and I am certain that it will be even better appreciated by the new generation of cinemagoers.

I sometimes envy you for having the courage to flee the asphalt jungle of the Champs-Elysées; life must be more humane in Roussillon. One day or another I'll follow suit.

Best wishes for the present and future, and my fondest regards from so near and yet so far.

François Truffaut

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When it came out in 1960, Jean Dewever's film was hailed by Alain Resnais, Jean Renoir, Henri Jeanson, François Truffaut and Robert Parrish, to name but a few.

Twenty-eight years on, it hasn't aged a day. Its strength lies in its apparent simplicity (the preserve of great art). Very few films have shown the stupidity of war with such eloquence.

Patrice Vautier
1988 Le Canard enchaîné

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'Les Honneurs de la Guerre' is being re-released after 25 years. It hasn't aged one bit: like fine wine and human stupidity."

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   " Infinite tact was required to wend one's way between life and death and to exorcise their danger-ridden clash. Tact and a certain genius. Otherwise, the spectacle would have won over reality. For even blunt knives can cause deep wounds...

There's a touch of Jean Renoir in Jean Dewever.

It isn't enough to say that he used to be Renoir's assistant. He has become his disciple and successor."

Yvan Audouard

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Sculpted in broad daylight, Ghislain Cloquet's photography (in black and white) sings the pantheistic forces of life, while the director, with sovereign liberty, invades the natural space of streets, squares, roads and river banks. The satirical eye looks sympathetically on the defeated, exhausted Germans, who want to go home; and sensitively on the guests at the banquet held at a riverside dance hall, who care little for either speeches or their own rivalries; they are drained by the heat and ambient sensuality.

When the noise of gunfire reverberates again, when violence is unleashed again, such waste is an affliction. Like the film-maker, the cinemagoer looks pityingly on the final scenes. Will re-releasing this major film at last enable it to stop being an accursed work?

Jacques Siclier
Le Monde, March 4, 1988

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