From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.
The Most Important Film of Its Kind Ever Made
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Did You Know?
When first released in New York, the English title was "The Sorrow and the Shame," which infuriated director Marcel Ophüls, who later explained: "In this film, there is NO shame." See more
Marcel Verdier, Pharmacist
The children who were born during that time, between 1942 and 1944, should have suffered from rickets, and I say this as a doctor. In our family, it was ironic. These young ladies have a brother, who is 27 years old, and was born in 1942. He's five foot nine! We fed him so much to avoid rickets that he turned into a giant. He's a great tennis player, an architect and a giant to boot.
Featured in Annie Hall
Sweepin' the Clouds Away
Music by Sam Coslow
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Performed by Maurice Chevalier See more