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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
Communal Nurturing and Healing Among Friends of Scars from the War
'Un monde presque paisible' (Almost Peaceful) is a touching little film that keeps its story so quietly gentle that the effect is genuinely memorable. Director and screenwriter Michel Deville based this engrossing movie on a novel by Robert Bober: it is a unique vision and sharing of how Jews recovered from WW II.
Set in 1946 in Paris, the owner of a tailoring business seeks out Jews who have either returned from the camps or have been in hiding, or were part of the Resistance, who by luck escaped the fate of so many others, or were outcast otherwise during the horrors of WW II and offers them employment and emotional support. These are healthy people physically: emotionally the damage is deep and requires tender nurturing to start the road to health. The story unfolds slowly and allows us to witness the means by which each of these victims help each other heal and regain self confidence and learn to live in a world without the fear of extermination. The movement of the story is one of emerging trust and the director and actors each bring to the concept a fine sense of history and of the manner in which fellowman can coexist with a little help from their friends.
The cast is uniformly excellent and the atmospheric cinematography by Andre Diot is stunningly beautiful and reminiscent of the post war France period. The musical score is solely dependent on string quartets and matches the intimacy of the message of the film. In French with English subtitles. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp
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