The film is set in France in August 1944 at the end of the war. German troops are in retreat as the allies are coming in. Two French boys run from home and on their journey they stumble ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Caporal-chef Franz Joseph Burnher
Antoine Hubert ...
Julien Hubert ...
Martin Lamotte ...
Victor Toulis
Isabelle Sadoyan ...
La Crochue
Raoul Billerey ...
Le maire
Jean-François Dérec ...
L'adjudant
...
Paul Leblau
Roger Miremont ...
Le maquisard pressé (as Roger Mirmont)
Marie Pillet
Olivier Nembi ...
Gaby
Judith Henry ...
Annie
Amélie Gonin ...
Hélène
Manon Serve ...
Josyane
Yveline Ailhaud ...
Marthe
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Storyline

The film is set in France in August 1944 at the end of the war. German troops are in retreat as the allies are coming in. Two French boys run from home and on their journey they stumble upon a German soldier. Soon they become friends and together they head towards Lyon...

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

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26 April 1989 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Der Krieg ist aus  »

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User Reviews

 
A surprise ending that catches you completely off guard.
16 October 2013 | by (San Diego, California, USA) – See all my reviews

We came across this DVD among my mother-in-laws effects as we were clearing out her house in Gironde, and I found myself wondering how come I had never heard of it in 14 years. A film this good should have been as famous as Amélie or Chocolat!

Why did I love it? Because everything in it rang true. The basic premise sounds a bit far fetched, but in the context of the plot as it unfolds, it makes perfect sense. The boys are neither precociously adept at survival, nor pathetically incapable, but the presence of an adult, no matter how unusual his circumstances, makes their continued flight possible. There is much wry humour in the interaction between the three main characters - so much, in fact, that it is tempting to view the film as a comedy and lose sight of the fact that there is a war on, and the adult character stands to lose his life if caught by either the German or French authorities.

Maybe serendipity is stretched a bit thin in places - Antoine's skill with a catapult (no, dear US readers, it's not a slingshot, that's a completely different weapon) is definitely over the top, and the fortuitous arrival of a pair of "Collabo" at just the right moment smacks of Deus ex Machina, but life is full of coincidences, and they don't all roll the way of our heroes in this particular gem.

The acting standard was exceptionally high, even for the bit players, which enhanced my suspension of disbelief. Still, I have to say that there are very few child actors who can cry convincingly on camera, and neither of the Hubert boys managed it. Everything else in their roles they pulled off with credible artistry, and Richard Bohringer was at all times utterly believable.

I always fear the ending of French films, with their penchant for leaving as many threads loose as possible, so the sudden unexpected plot twist in the last 90 seconds of this film caught me completely off guard. My first reaction was incomprehension, then I realized that there really was no other way the story could turn out. You'll have to see it for yourself to understand why.


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