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Paris 1919: Un traité pour la paix (2009)

A film about the Paris Peace Conference that negotiated the end of World War I with the Versailles Treaty.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harold Nicolson
Yan Brian ...
Jean-Gabriel Nordmann ...
Nicholas Hawtrey ...
David Lloyd George (as Nicolas Hawtrey)
Vincent Lo Monaco ...
Vittorio Orlando
Jürgen Zwingel ...
Martin Ziemann ...
Walter Simons
Jerry Di Giacomo ...
Chef cartographe
Fabrice Talon ...
André Tardieu
Hiro Uchiyama ...
Colin David Reese ...
Peter Vizard ...
Nordine Ouchene ...


Using archival footage and dramatic re-enactments, this documentary deals with the immediate aftermath of the 1918 armistice that brought World War I to an end. From January to July 1919, the Paris Peace Conference dealt not only with issues related to Germany but with the thorny issue of national boundaries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. From this conference emerged Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia; the annexation of parts of Germany by other countries; the creation of Iraq; and the transfer of German colonies in Africa and China to new colonial masters. It also led to the creation of the League of Nations, championed by President Woodrow Wilson but which the US never joined. When they finally dealt with the issue of war reparations, they imposed a payments schedule on Germany that many believe provided the underpinnings of World War II. Written by garykmcd

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1 April 2009 (France)  »

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Paris 1919  »

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Did You Know?


The actor playing Woodrow Wilson is shown wearing wire-rimmed glasses. The real Wilson, however, always wore a pince-nez, spectacles that are balanced on the wearer's nose, with no ear pieces. See more »

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Spectacularly good and informative film about the failed Versailles Treaty
29 April 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Paul Cowan is a Canadian filmmaker who has made a magnificent contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the events of 1919 which continue to haunt our world today. Everyone who wants to understand 2014 should watch this film about 1919 to see what went wrong and what remains wrong with the world we live in. The sad fact is that World War One is still going on, and if we remain perversely ignorant of that fact, we do ourselves no favours. This is one of those films which should be shown in all schools, but of course it will be shown in none, so impervious to imagination are the educational authorities these days in our ossified and inflexible educational 'establishments'. (The educational establishments of 2014 are as idiotic as the politicians of 1919, and perhaps even more so.) Because this film was produced in Canada, it was shot in both French and English, so there are two different language versions of the same film, both available on the same DVD. The film has won some international awards, which were well deserved. I hope that the French are watching it. The subject of the film is the Paris Peace Conference which dragged on for months in 1919, collapsing in a heap at the end, with one of its more immediate consequences being the rise of Benito Mussolini in Italy, a development which could so very easily have been averted if the 'big four' leaders in Paris had not been such fools. And, as is well known, the worst result of the failure of this conference was the eventual rise of Hitler. That too could have been avoided. But then, to avoid things takes brains, and brains were in short supply at the Paris Conference. The greatest fool of all was the absurdly vain and stupid Woodrow Wilson, who bears the main responsibility for the train wreck of Europe which followed. He was unfit to be President of the United States, but then how many American presidents have been? Few are the leaders in history who were up to the jobs they found themselves in. Perhaps the greatest weakness of the human species is its perennial inability to find decent and intelligent people to hold positions of power. 'Nice people' don't want power, that is part of the problem. And of some of those who do, like Wilson, they often turn out to be worse idiots than the rogues. This film brilliantly blends together a mass of excellent quality archival footage with tastefully staged reconstructions. We really feel we are there and witnessing what actually happened. The actors Jean-Gabriel Nordmann as Clemenceau and Vincent Lo Monaco as Vittorio Orlando the Italian Prime Minister are outstanding. One strange omission from the film is any mention whatever of the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, though the creation of Iraq and the presence at Paris of the future King Faisal of Iraq are given prominence. The film is based upon the book PEACEMAKERS by the Canadian historian Professor Mary MacMillan, whose great-grandfather was Lloyd George, and who is portrayed in the film by Nicholas Hawtrey. MacMillan also was an adviser to the production. This film is such a magnificent history lesson, and evokes the peace conference so powerfully, that it cannot be recommended highly enough. It is now five years since Paul Cowan made this wonderful film, and since then he has not followed it with another. Let us hope that something marvellous is currently in gestation and that before long he will surprise us.

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