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Almost Peaceful (2002)
"Un monde presque paisible" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  18 December 2002 (France)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 322 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 5 user | 21 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Jewish tailor Albert (Abkarian) and his wife Lea (Breitman) are reestablishing their business in 1946 Paris. Albert hires six people, more than he needs to meet current slow season demand, ... See full summary »

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(novel), , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Albert
Zabou Breitman ...
Léa
Vincent Elbaz ...
Léon
...
Jacqueline
Denis Podalydès ...
Charles
...
Mme. Andrée
Malik Zidi ...
Joseph
...
Maurice
...
Simone
Sylvie Milhaud ...
Mme. Sarah
Judith D'Aléazzo ...
Mme. Himmelfarb
François Clavier ...
Police Commissioner
Hervé Briaux ...
Proprietor
Pierre Diot ...
Fascist at Cafe
Eric Laugérias ...
Charles' Lawyer
Edit

Storyline

Jewish tailor Albert (Abkarian) and his wife Lea (Breitman) are reestablishing their business in 1946 Paris. Albert hires six people, more than he needs to meet current slow season demand, and all but Jacqueline (Lubna Azabal) are Jews who somehow survived the occupation. Slowly, tentatively they get to know each other as they cut, stitch, press, and fit men's and women's clothes. But each has to reestablish his or her life and relationships among sometimes indifferent or hostile Parisians. Written by Maple-2

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Almost Peaceful  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$2,305 (USA) (17 December 2004)

Gross:

$105,917 (USA) (18 March 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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User Reviews

When A Normal Life Is A Great Victory
8 September 2004 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Almost Peaceful (Un monde presque paisible)" uniquely focuses on a slice of time hitherto unexplored in film.

It's set in Paris in 1946 as co-workers in a tailor shop just try to have normal lives. But they are only physically recovered.

They are each survivors in different ways, whether from the camps, hidden, accidentally escaped, or joined the Resistance, or, for the non-Jews, compromised with the occupiers. All are youthful (the most likely demographic to have survived), whether during the war they were children, teens, young adults, or had started families. They are just trying to pick up their pieces, re-learning the quotidian.

But the tiniest things bring back uncontrollable memories, as powerfully as Proust's madeleine to use a French cultural comparison.

Particularly noteworthy are the Jews' relationships with gentiles. Where in most movies somehow all Frenchmen were members of the Resistance, here they recognize their informers, or the apathetic stand-byers, those who had gladly taken over their apartments, etc. etc. And those who think that it doesn't matter anymore and accidentally stumble into more emotions than they bargained for.

Over the gradual unfolding of the film, each fully developed and emotionally damaged character very individually adapts to breathing more freely and assertively and we cheer each quiet, little step in their progress.

The movie serves as a beautiful illustration of why so many survivors' stories didn't come out for another 50 years.

While it is based on an autobiographical novel, a neighbor of mine who was a child in France in 1946 supported its realism.


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