During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... 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 »
A reconstruction of the trial of Joan of Arc (based entirely on the transcripts of the real-life trial), concerning Joan's imprisonment, interrogation and final execution at the hands of ... 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 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.
During the German occupation noble, bourgeois and worker's partisan groups lived in peace with another. On the first day of freedom they start to fight each other. In these fights is weaved a most tender love story.
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist group meet and fall in love. Complications ensue when the man is suspected by the members of his terrorist group of being a double agent. Written by
I just saw this film for the first time on TCM. I was appalled to see that there is no video available, nor has Maltin written a summary. Now I regret not having taped it, and hope it will be shown again.
This film, Godard's second at feature-length, was made in 1960. It was subsequently banned by the French government and not commercially released until 1963, when the war in Algeria was over and Algeria had gained its independence. It is sometimes difficult to recall, 41 years after the fact, that the Algerian conflict was then tearing France apart and, had anyone but a WWII hearing like De Gaulle been in charge, probably would have led to civil war.
The lead character is a somewhat reluctant and half-hearted member of a right wing terrorist group, opposing Algerian independence, planning assassinations and tortures of members of left wing terrorist groups supporting Algerian independence. Godard demonstrates that there is really no difference between the two, that they are both morally bankrupt and ultimately nihilistic. Members of both groups are shown with remarkable objectivity--remarkable if you know Godard's own political leanings, which were far to the left, Maoist in fact.
Stylistically the film has a documentary, cinema verite feel. Godard used hand held cameras decades before they came into vogue. The characters seem real, so much so that, except for the beautiful Anna Karina, it is necessary to remind oneself that these are actors.
By the way, probably very few viewers, except those who may have been in France at that time, will know the significance of a scene where, several times in succession, several cars blow their horns "ta ta tum, tum tum." That was a very public code that existed in France at the time and stood for "Algerie Francaise," or. loosely, "Keep Algeria French." A very topical film.
16 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?