Slovakia during WW2. Tono lives a poor life, but the authorities offer him to take over the Jewish widow Lautman's little shop for sewing material. She is old and confused and thinks that ... See full summary »
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
A symbolic depiction of hell on Earth, set in the last days of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Lieutenant Zadra is commanding a company of 43 men in a desperate battle amidst the ruins. Facing... See full summary »
The location: Nazi occupied Rome. As Rome is classified an open city, most Romans can wander the streets without fear of the city being bombed or them being killed in the process. But life ... See full summary »
During World War II, 12-year old Ivan works as a spy on the eastern front. The small Ivan can cross the German lines unnoticed to collect information. Three Soviet officers try to take care... See full summary »
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German POW camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
A German stage actor finds unexpected success and mixed blessings in the popularity of his performance in a Faustian play as the Nazis take power in pre-WWII Germany. As his associates and ... See full summary »
Klaus Maria Brandauer,
It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »
A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however. Written by
Doug Shafer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In a television interview ("Vivement Dimanche Prochain", France 2, 17 April 2005) Brigitte Fossey, who played the little Paulette, revealed that the film had originally been shot as a short, and then it was later decided to extend it into a feature film. Unfortunately she had lost her milk teeth and Georges Poujouly (who plays the boy Michel) had had his hair cut to play in Nous sommes tous des assassins (1952). So, in many scenes of the movie Paulette has false teeth and Michel is wearing a wig. See more »
The poor parents are killed by a Focke-Wulf 190. This kind of plane didn't exist at the moment of the "battle of France" in May and June 1940. See more »
This is Rene Clement's most celebrated and arguably best film despite being only the fifth film of his I have watched; for the record, I also have CHE GIOIA VIVERE (1960) on VHS and IS Paris BURNING? (1966) on DVD and would certainly like to catch up with a few others, especially LES MAUDITS (1947), GERVAISE (1956) and AND HOPE TO DIE (1972).
Apparently, FORBIDDEN GAMES only became a feature film after Jacques Tati's encouragement and, if so, one needs to be grateful to him as the film is one of the most poignant (and controversial) depictions of childhood innocence on film and its influence is evident in later similarly-themed films like Philip Leacock's INNOCENT SINNERS (1958). Clement opens his film with a harrowing and totally realistic air-raid sequence but proceeds with a charming and humorous depiction of simple farm life which revolves around the household, church and cemetery; the latter two settings, in fact, host two of the film's most entertaining sequences. Of course, the paradox of the children's love for animals and the need to populate their secret cemetery (and utilizing stolen crosses no less) is only the direct result of the children's impossibility of grasping the world around them: the children's cruelty to animals (the boy's stabbing of a cockroach with a pen, for example) is just as sensible to him as the barrage of bombs which the "civilized" adults throw at each other day in day out.
The remarkable performances by the two young children (Brigitte Fossey and Georges Poujouly) are certainly among the finest of their kind but the film also takes care to offer eccentric characters for its relatively unknown ensemble cast to sink their teeth in, including an early role for familiar character actor Jacques Marin as the ill-fated Georges, whose untimely death has a pivotal bearing on the film's plot. To top it all, FORBIDDEN GAMES is blessed by a haunting guitar score by Narciso Yepes.
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