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Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)

Au revoir les enfants (original title)
PG | | Drama, War | 12 February 1988 (USA)
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writers:

Louis Malle, Louis Malle (scenario)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gaspard Manesse ... Julien Quentin
Raphael Fejtö ... Jean Bonnet
Francine Racette ... Mme Quentin
Stanislas Carré de Malberg ... François Quentin (as Stanislas Carré De Malberg)
Philippe Morier-Genoud Philippe Morier-Genoud ... Père Jean
François Berléand ... Père Michel
François Négret François Négret ... Joseph
Peter Fitz Peter Fitz ... Muller
Pascal Rivet Pascal Rivet ... Boulanger
Benoît Henriet Benoît Henriet ... Ciron
Richard Leboeuf Richard Leboeuf ... Sagard
Xavier Legrand Xavier Legrand ... Babinot
Arnaud Henriet Arnaud Henriet ... Negus
Jean-Sébastien Chauvin Jean-Sébastien Chauvin ... Laviron
Luc Etienne Luc Etienne ... Moreau (as Luc Étienne)
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Storyline

In 1944, upper class boy Julien Quentin and his brother François travel to Catholic boarding school in the countryside after vacations. Julien is a leader and good student and when the new student Jean Bonnet arrives in the school, they have friction in their relationship. However, Julien learns to respect Jean and discovers that he is Jewish and the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends and Julien keeps the secret. When the priest Jean discovers that the servant Joseph is stealing supplies from the school to sell in the black market, he fires the youth. Sooner the Gestapo arrives at school to investigate the students and the priests that run and work in the boarding school. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | West Germany | Italy

Language:

French | German | English | Greek | Latin

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au Revoir les Enfants See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,542,825
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of 45 "great films." See more »

Goofs

Jean's pants are dirty after wrestling with Julien, but clean at the restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Julien Quentin: François, what's a yid?
François Quentin: A jew.
Julien Quentin: I know, but what exactly is a Jew?
François Quentin: Someone who doesn't eat pork.
Julien Quentin: Are you kidding me?
François Quentin: Not at all.
Julien Quentin: What have people got against them?
François Quentin: The fact they're smarter than us, and they crucified Jesus.
Julien Quentin: That's not true. It was the Romans. Is that why they have to wear yellow stars?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Pour Cuotemoc, Justine et Chloé. (opening credits) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dead Poets Society (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Moment musical no 2
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Ami Flammer, violin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Lived-in feeling gives sad film great depth
5 August 1999 | by SlokeSee all my reviews

The movie was a project close to Louis Malle's heart (he was in tears when the film premiered at a film festival in 1987) and it shows in the multi-layered treatment he gives the central setting, this fascinating boarding school with its broad cast of characters. Because there are so many different strands and affecting moments tangential to the central plot, one is not entirely prepared for the finale even if you are expecting it. French film is characteristically digressive, often to a fault, but here it works to splendid advantage. It also lends itself to repeat viewings.

I don't think you need to have lived in occupied Europe to appreciate this wonderful film; it speaks to all of us who have lived through childhood's quickly-passing parade and know its lifelong regrets. That last image of the stone wall is emblazoned in many consciousnesses, as it is in mine.

There are many interesting choices Malle makes in this film. For example, while the central subject is the Holocaust, nearly all the Germans we actually see in the film are fairly decent if nonetheless menacing types. The real villains here are almost entirely French collaborators, which was done I think to call attention to collaboration during a period when the French were dealing with the Klaus Barbie trial. [Barbie was a Gestapo officer who was aided in his work rooting out Resistance leaders by many French collaborators.] But casting French people as the heavies also suggests the central evil of prejudice and oppression is not something exclusive to one nationality, and it broadens the scope of the movie.

The tender treatment Malle affords the Catholic hierarchy in the movie is unusual, too, when you see other more anti-clerical Malle efforts like "Murmur of the Heart." There is an unexpected sense of spirituality throughout this film, somewhat muted but there all the same.

This may well stand as the cinematic masterpiece of a man who, at his best (see also "Atlantic City" and "My Dinner With Andre") was to motion pictures what his countrymen Zola and Hugo were to novels: An artist who filled his canvas with the verve and breadth of human life.


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