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 the top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
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
Jean Bonnet is demonstrated to have surprisingly impressive pianist skills; However, when his hands are highlighted, his left hand is pressing the wrong keys, while the right one isn't moving at all and therefore it's clear that the music was added after the scene was shot. See more »
This is a very moving film, most likely based on an actual event. The Carmelite priest,Lucien Bunel (1900-1945, "Pere Jacques") was founder and director of the Petit College d'Avon, near Fontainebleau. He was arrested on Jan. 15, 1994, accused of hiding 3 Jewish boys among his students, and was deported to the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp. He died in Linz, Austria on June 2, 1945. Malle's film depicts the intense trauma of Jewish children who were separated from their families and forced to take on a new identity in hiding, always afraid of being found out. They also faced the dilemma of how to maintain their Jewishness in the setting of a Catholic school. So, not just another war movie, this film depicts some of the real struggles facing hidden children, many of whom were saved by courageous Christians in Europe.
53 of 63 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this