The "Disque " of the title is a sign on the railroad which used to indicate a switching(shunting);it means in Poirier's work a one-way track .
The action takes place in Africa ,in WW1.Ethiopia remained neutral but Djibouti was French and the start of the line to Addis-Abeba;hence its strategic importance.And a good background for a spy thriller.
On the plus side,the movie was filmed on location in 1933!It featured real natives and Ethiopian actors ,and no pidgin French! Unfortunately ,the female lead ,Gina Manès (who played Josephine in Gance's Napoleon ) ,is still playing as she did in the silent age:her overplaying is ridiculous ;in the last sequences it becomes so theatrical,so histrionic it is almost unbearable ;and this story of a poisoned engineer and the race against the clock to find an antidote cannot be taken seriously ,in spite of an usually inventive use of the railroad track in the last minutes .A bit misogynistic ,all the same!
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