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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
Almost Peaceful Almost Peaceful is a French film written and directed by Michel Deville, about mainly Jewish tailors working in the same shop, each going through something different. They show how they deal with their problems and try to restart their lives after the Holocaust. The business is run by a Holocaust survivor Albert and his wife Léa. They hire six new people all but one are also survivors of the Holocaust. This movie takes place right after the Holocaust in 1946.
Léa, Albert's wife, does not feel that she is in love with Albert any longer. Even though she has children with him and they look like a happy family, on the inside she is secretly in love with another man who works at the shop with her; Charles. Charles got separated from the people he loves during the war. Now that it is over he hasn't reunited with them, and lost them to the death camps. He deals with his problems by isolating himself and not dating. He tries not to feel for any other women, Charles isn't ready to move forward; he might never be able. When Léa opens up to him and explains her feelings to him, he tells her basically that he is never going to be over his wife, no matter what and he will not move on. Léa tries to restart her life by telling the person she cares about the most how she feels and Charles does the same by keeping his family in his mind and never leaving them even though they might be gone.
Maurice, one of the younger men Albert hired in the shop seems to have a problem with keeping long term relationships after the war. It seems like he is fine on a normal day, but when he is by himself he is lonely. Which is understandable, he went through the worst time of his life and came out of it alone. He tries to get rid of his problems by seeing a prostitute. He always goes to see the same prostitute, Simone. One day she asks him out for coffee and after a while he decides to take her up on that, they start liking each other more and they start seeing each other like a relationship. Maurice doubts it will last but at the end of the movie he was happy, so he tries to restart his life by trying new things. David is a young child that we meet right at the end of the movie. Even though he is only there for a short time his role is important in the film. David lost his parents in the war, right before his father left him he gave him a pocket watch, every now and then David listens to his watch. The watch means everything to this boy, it reminds him of the person who meant everything to him, and with the watch that person can be wherever he goes.
Joseph is another one of the younger men Albert hired. When Joseph and his family were arrested, Joseph ran for his life. While his parents were waiting to be taken away he ran out of line and did not stop until he was safe. His parents did not turn around and watch him so it would not cause as much attention. Joseph told this story when he realized the man at the police precinct was the same Police Commissioner that arrested him and his family. The Commissioner was being extremely harsh to him and said he will try his best so that Joseph would not get what he wanted or needed. Joseph went in his face and told the commissioner that he will become a writer and write about everything he went through. He will write what this man did to him and how he feels and his whole life story. Joseph starts to deal with his problems and restart his life by telling his life story.
Almost Peaceful is a movie about how people might deal with their past. It shows what people have done after they lost everything that they lived for, and they live again when the worst has passed. Everyone deals with things differently. One person might keep to themselves while another feels they have to tell the whole world. Either way is fine, it all depends on what will make you feel like you can live again. If I went through any of the things these people had to deal with I don't know what I might do. Now when I am not feeling great, I deal with my problems by entering a bad mood stage and I ignore the people I am mad at and become angry. But that is how I deal with things, and I can't be blamed for that, and neither can any of these people!
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