In 1914, World War I, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. However on Christmas Eve, numerous sections of the Western Front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in No Man's Land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. This film dramatizes one such section as the French, Scottish and German sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The film takes place on August 4, 1914 and in December 1914. See more »
In the film the musical exchange is prompted by the Scottish troops: in reality, most incidents began with the German troops singing carols from their trenches (but not exposing themselves to the enemy - both sides remained in their trenches) with the opposing troops countering with carols of their own. The film was advertised as "based on a true story", but neither the marketing nor anything in the film claims it to be a historically accurate account of the events. At the end of the closing credits it states, the story is based on a compilation of various documented events which took place along the front during WW1. Director Christian Carion said in the DVD commentary that he included Scots, rather than English, in the story because he wanted bagpipe music. See more »
Child, upon these maps do heed This black stain to be effaced Omitting it, you would proceed Yet better it in red to trace Later, whatever may come to pass Promise there to go you must To fetch the children of Alsace Reaching out their arms to us May in our fondest France Hope's green saplings to branch And in you, dear child, flower Grow, grow, France awaits its hour.
To rid the map of every trace Of Germany and of the Hun We must exterminate that race We must not leave a single ...
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I was sceptical before watching this film but by the end I had tears running down my cheeks.
By depicting the feelings and destinies of the soldiers, the film demonstrated the absurdity of war and how each soldier is more than a mere cannon target. It is a commentary on the utter stupidity of politics governing war events from behind curtains while not actually experiencing the real war. By depicting a unique event in European war history that occurred on Christmas day 1914 it shows viewers that Europeans can be as one even as "enemies".
About ten years ago I watched Paul McCartney's video "Pipes of Peace" and thought that what it depicted was completely fictitious--nothing more than pacifists' dreams. I have now learned that it was true.
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