This movie is only made of archive pictures: the official newsreels that were broadcasted on French movie screens during 1940 and 1944 (the Occupation). Those newsreels were controlled by the government of Vichy, which collaborated with the Nazis, so most of them are propaganda. Their purpose is to show what the disinformation was then, and perhaps more generally to evoke the problem of the power of the mass media.
Did You Know?
When the film was first released in 1993, Claude Chabrol
came under fire from some critics who chastised him for not showing more of what was really going on. By limiting the film's visual content to Vichy propaganda, he risked playing into the hands of France's present extreme rightwing political parties, particularly as some of what is seen in the documentary seems to echo the sentiment of Jean-Marie Le Pen
's Front National. See more
La Chanson du Maçon
Music by Henri Betti
Lyrics by Maurice Chevalier
and Maurice Vandair
Performed by Maurice Chevalier See more