In 1953, a sensitive French boy finds out from a neighbor that his family's Jewish. François Grimbert becomes a physician, and gradually peels the layers of his buried family history which resulted in his difficult upbringing, raised as Catholic by his "Aryan" appearing parents. His athletic father labored to stamp out stereotypical Jewish characteristics he perceived in his son, to keep the family's many secrets, as most relatives fought in World War II, and later were hauled off to labor and death camps by the Gestapo. Based on a true story. —David Stevens
A real surprise
Having read the comments on this site, after having heard a friend (whose opinions aren't always reliable) say I must see it, I expected a marginally good picture when I rented the DVD. OK, I thought, another personal story about French and German anti-Semitism in WW II. This time my friend was right! A Secret was a knockout. It hit home and revived childhood memories. And it's as much or more about pre-WW II & post-WW II as it is about during. I won't repeat what others have rightly said about the uniformly excellent acting or the directing or the photography, etc. Among the things that hit home to me were the child's (or children's) point of view--SO on target--and the very different types of Jews portrayed in this film. Even though I "knew" (intuited) what would happen to some characters, what actually did happen was better than my imaginings. Its reference to the big illusion (La grande illusion) was apt (as well as the one character who actually saw it). More than one illusion is shattered by this pic, which like my friend I highly recommend.
- Jun 27, 2009
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