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An excellent symbol
of human stupidity
(Jean Renoir)


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The night before, NANTEUIL was liberated, but in the middle of the night 30 or so retreating German soldiers disrupted the proceedings and fired... As the film opens, they are camping out in the empty streets, beneath the lanterns and flags of the Liberation.

They are without their chiefs and exhausted; war never seemed more futile to them. So why carry on fighting?

The euphoria of the days of glory!... A few kilometres away, French civilians gaily celebrate their new-found freedom. Everybody wants to be there when the enemy surrenders. While they await the appointed time, they eat, sing and laugh... Couples frolic outdoors...

While war and peace hang suspended, everyone wants to forget that it takes so little for trouble to break out again between the two communities...

...for a German officer to show up unannounced; for him to refuse to negotiate with "terrorists", for men to be afraid, for others to believe they have been betrayed, and tonight for another few dead bodies to lie strewn on the ground.

Little matter, since Honour has been saved!...


 

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90 mn 35m/m Black & White
Director : Jean Dewever
Screenplay and dialogues : Jean-Charles Tacchella et Jean Dewever.
Photography by Ghislain Cloquet and Georges LÚvy.
Sound : Jacques Gallois
Make-up : Marcus
Editing : Suzanne Cabon
with Pierre Collet, Danielle Godet, Paul Mercey, Maik, Serge Davri, Ardisson, Albert Hehn, Erwin Strahl, Helmut Fischer

 

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in 1961
Télérama
Cannes Festival 1961
Alain Resnais
Robert Parrish
Abroad

in 1979
François Truffaut

in 1988
Le Canard enchainé
Le Nouvel Observateur
Yvan Audouard
Le Monde

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