In a small town in the West of France, during the German Occupation, a room is requisitioned by a Wehrmacht captain, Werner von Ebrennac. The house where he now stays is inhabited by young ... See full summary »
In a small town in the West of France, during the German Occupation, a room is requisitioned by a Wehrmacht captain, Werner von Ebrennac. The house where he now stays is inhabited by young Jeanne, who makes a living by giving piano lessons, and by her grandfather. Quite upset, the two "hosts" decide to resist the occupier by never speaking a word to him. Now Werner is a lover of France and its culture, and he tries to persuade them that a rapprochement between Germany and France would be beneficial for the two nations. Quite unexpectedly Jeanne, little by little, falls in love with Werner. At the same time, the francophile officer loses his illusions, realizing at last that what Nazi Germany actually wants is to thrall France and to stifle its culture... Written by
Awards: Prix de la meilleure fiction unitaire (Pierre Boutron), Prix d'interprétation fémiine (Julie Delarme) et Prix de la meilleure musique (Angélique et Jean-Claude Nachon) au Festival de Fiction TV de Saint-Tropez 2004. See more »
The story starts in November 1941 in Nazi occupied France. A pretty, young and orphaned girl (late teens to early 20s) lives with her paternal grandfather, her only relative, in a comfortable villa. Proud but reserved, she gives piano lessons with unusual zeal and passion. One day, her house is invaded by the occupying Germans, and her parents' suite becomes the home of the local German Commander.
However, this Nazi is a refined Francofile, a classical pianist and composer. He's also extremely handsome, and tries to make this embarrassing situation as acceptable as possible.
This film is a remake of one of the best movies made in post World War II Europe, with a few adaptations to the original script, based on the novel 'LE SILENCE DE LA MER', published underground around February of 1942.
With a French actor speaking slightly (but not caricature) German accented French, the German lieutenant character is quite believable. His Aryan looks certainly confirms his "authenticity" as the cultured (French-like) though disciplined (German-like) Nazi; an enemy a refined girl could possibly fall in love with.
The original novel was practically a sacred book in France during the 1942-45 period, and a powerful symbol of the French Resistance. The 1947 film, due to budget and mainly personal and political problems, was, in hindsight, not as believable and well filmed as this new version. That said, the 1947 will probably always remain the definite version.
But, nevertheless, this new made for TV movie is well worth seeing for its timeless anti-war, pro-humanity themes. The gorgeous cinematography, and excellent performances by perfectly casted actors make it a pleasant experience for the eyes and the mind, regardless of all else, including the inevitable comparisons to the 1947 film and the novel. It is now playing on the cable TV "Eurochannel" transmitted by Satellite and "DirecTV" in the Americas, and should not be missed!
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