Joyeux Noel (2005) Poster


Bernard Le Coq: Le général Audebert


  • [the Lieutenant lights a lamp, revealing the General seated in a corner. The Lieutenant notices him, resigns himself] 

    General Audebert : How did you let yourself...

    Lieutenant Audebert : If you came to preach, leave now!

    General Audebert : Don't you realize the gravity of this? It's high treason! Punishable by death.

    [the Lieutenant just looks at him for a moment, continues with his business] 

    General Audebert : Only we can't execture 200 men. That's all that saves you. Not counting all the other cases of fraternization reported since. If public opinion hears of this...

    Lieutenant Audebert : Have no fear, no one here will tell.

    General Audebert : I hope not! Who'd want to?

    Lieutenant Audebert : Want to? The men involved feel no shame. If they won't tell, it's because no one would believe or understand.

    General Audebert : I don't understand you. Carousing with the enemy while the country's partly occupied!

    Lieutenant Audebert : The country? What does it know of what we suffer here? Of what we do without complaint? Let me tell you, I felt closer to the Germans than those who cry, "Kill the Krauts!" before their stuffed turkey!

    General Audebert : You're talking nonsense.

    Lieutenant Audebert : No, you're just not living the same war as me. Or as those on the other side.

    General Audebert : You and your men will rejoin the Verdun sector. You're right about one thing. I don't understand this war. My corps was the cavalry. You should have made a career of it, like I said. Today, I'm asked to fight a way where the shovel outweighs the rifle. In which people swap addresses with the enemy to meet when it's all over. Plus the cat we found with a note from the Germans, "Good luck, comrades!" I was ordered to arrest the cat for high treason... until further notice.

    [He turns to leave] 

    Lieutenant Audebert : You're a grandfather, Dad.

    [the General stops and looks at him. The Lieutenant tries not to cry] 

    Lieutenant Audebert : His name is Henri.

    [He grins through his tears] 

    General Audebert : What are you on about? How do you know that?

    Lieutenant Audebert : You wouldn't understand.

    General Audebert : Henri? Not bad. Henri Audebert. Let's try and survive this war for him.

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