Malmö, Sweden during the Second World War. Stig is a 15 year old pupil on the verge of adulthood. Viola is 37 years old and his teacher. He is attracted by her beauty and maturity. She is ... See full summary »
Tomas von Brömssen
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS is a sweeping romantic drama set in 1930's England, Paris, and Spain. Gilda Bessé shares her Paris apartment with an Irish schoolteacher, Guy Malyon, and Mia, a refugee ... See full summary »
The first days of WWI. Adrien, a young and handsome lieutenant, is wounded by a piece of shrapnel. He will spend the entire wartime at the Val-de-Grâce Hospital, in Paris. Five long years, ... See full summary »
Israel, 1967. Sacha and Laura have been living in a kibbutz near the Syrian border for two years. They are visited by Simon, Michel and Paul, three friends from Paris who have come to celebrate Laura's twentieth birthday. Simon is obsessed by the death of the girl he loved and during the birthday evening, attempts to find someone to blame amongst his friends. Laura alone knows that the young girl... See full summary »
June 1940. German troops are advancing on Paris. Odile, a widowed teacher, succumbs to the widespread panic and, with her two children, joins the exodus from the city. Philippe is on the cusp of adolescence, Little Cathy knows only that they are going South. After fifty kilometres, a German plane attacks, decimating the helpless refugees. Odile and her children lose everything. A shaven-headed youth appears from nowhere and leads them away from the carnage. His name is Yvan, he's seventeen years old. Cut off from the rest of the world and living in confined quarters, Odile and Yvan find themselves confronted with their own desires. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Being French and somewhat interested in history, I think I can give my 2 bits on a few questions about this movie:
Why does the kid sing a song in German? My idea is that because friendship between France and Germany is now so sacro-saint, the director felt the need to remind viewers that all this was past history and we are now the best of friends. I think this was necessary because of the very graphic and terrifying scenes of refugees being bombed by German planes.
Historical movie or individual adventure? I think both. The story is one of individuals cut off from the rest of the world, but the atmosphere of chaos, of loss of values, of breakdown of civilization, of not knowing where to go or what to do, appears to be representative of the way the people who lived through the events felt about them. Gaspard Ulliel, who seems to appear out of nowhere, as if a product of the times, personifies very well this feeling of chaos. Some also lived that period as a holiday from their everyday lives - if they were unattached and could fend for themselves. Alphonse Boudard's autobiographical book "Les combattants du petit bonheur" captures that outlook.
The fact that they are cut off from the rest of the world makes the movie more present, like something that could be happening here and now. Most of the time you don't get the usual distraction of local color - costumes, old cars, etc- to show that this really is the past. Personally I get annoyed at movies that use sepia coloring, or historical allusions like famous news radio broadcasts so that you can't forget for a moment the distance between then and now.
Moreover I think this movie fits into a trend of recent studies of history. A lot of books or documentaries on historical events stress the importance of understanding individual experiences to get a glimpse of the big picture.
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