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?
Originally intended for French television. However, French broadcasters refused to show it arguing the documentary depicted occupied France as exclusively populated by traitors. See more
Sir Anthony Eden, Churchill's Foreign Secretary
There are two things we still haven't fully understood today concerning the position of de Gaulle and the Free French. In England at that time, there were several foreign governments, but they were all governments, whereas de Gaulle and the Free French were not. All the other powers here in London had come with their government. The Dutch, the Belgians, the Norwegians. Their government in London was the same as the one at home. But this wasn't the case in France, as Pétain was still in power.
Referenced in Angel: Just Rewards
Ça Sent si Bon la France
Music by Louiguy
Lyrics by Jacques Larue
Performed by Maurice Chevalier See more