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 Fact Film 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
Some people are resistants by nature. In other words, some people are naturally headstrong. Others on the contrary, try to adapt to the circumstances, and get what they can out of it. If you are a resistant over everything and nothing, you're exaggerating. But if you accept everything, you're lying.
Referenced in Angel: Conviction
Sweepin' the Clouds Away
Music by Sam Coslow
Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Performed by Maurice Chevalier See more