5.4/10
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2 user 10 critic

Réfractaire (2009)

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May 1944. A young man just out of college returns to his hometown in Luxembourg. Refusing to fight on the German side, he chooses a clandestine life and joins other deserters in an abandoned mine.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Armand
...
René
...
Théo
...
François
Swann Arlaud ...
Ady
Marianne Basler ...
Malou
Judith Davis ...
Lou
Carlo Brandt ...
Jacques
Luc Feit ...
Gestapiste
André Jung ...
Professeur nazi
Yoann Denaive ...
Enrico
Thierry van Werveke ...
Edouard
Michel Voïta ...
Pierrot
Pierre Derenne ...
Albert
Hervé Sogne ...
Schupo 2
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Storyline

May 1944. A young man just out of college returns to his hometown in Luxembourg. Refusing to fight on the German side, he chooses a clandestine life and joins other deserters in an abandoned mine.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mine | world war two | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

5 June 2009 (Luxembourg)  »

Also Known As:

Draft Dodgers  »

Filming Locations:

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Trivia

Luxembourg's official submission to 82nd Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2010. See more »

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User Reviews

 
doesn't delve quite far enough
21 January 2011 | by (www.subtitledonline.com) – See all my reviews

excerpt, full review at my location.

Cinema is motion. Thriving on the kinetic, its action heroes are proactive do-gooders. But what if they're impotent, incarcerated, or stripped of devious gadgetry? Then they do the right thing. A dark moral vision, The Undercover War frames ghostly non-combatants, dissenters whose resolute inaction is valorous. Eschewing the TNT-stoked inferno of the battleground, the film plays out life-or-death scenarios in banal surrounds. This is a eulogy to kitchen-sink crusaders; little heroes whose small glories are all but invisible to the annals.

A sombre endgame, The Undercover War offers no great escapes. Competent, if lacking in formal dazzle, the film's reverent drama becomes sedate, lulling to a clammy checkmate. Whilst more downbeat than similar narratives, its predictable trajectory detracts from the realism Steil's restrained direction seeks to evoke. Slaying, and then substituting a new-old mythos, the narrative itself feels imprisoned by the classic grammar of the combat film. Digestion-smoothing viewing for dozily patriotic Sunday afternoons, this is neo-traditional fare which doesn't delve quite far enough beneath the shadows.


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