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Diplomacy (2014)

Diplomatie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 5 March 2014 (France)
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A historical drama that depicts the relationship between Dietrich von Choltitz, the German military governor of occupied Paris, and Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling.

Writers:

Cyril Gely (scenario, adaptation and dialogue), Volker Schlöndorff (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
André Dussollier ... Raoul Nordling
Niels Arestrup ... General Dietrich von Choltitz
Burghart Klaußner ... Hauptmann Werner Ebernach
Robert Stadlober ... Lieutenant Bressensdorf
Charlie Nelson Charlie Nelson ... Le concierge
Jean-Marc Roulot Jean-Marc Roulot ... Jacques Lanvin
Stefan Wilkening Stefan Wilkening ... Caporal Mayer
Thomas Arnold ... Lieutenant Hegger
Lucas Prisor ... Soldat SS #1
Attila Borlan Attila Borlan ... Officier SS #2
Marie Dompnier ... La dame maquillée
Claudine Acs Claudine Acs ... La femme de chambre
Dominique Engelhardt Dominique Engelhardt ... Garde Hans
Johannes Klaußner Johannes Klaußner ... Jeune soldat 18 ans
Charles Morillon Charles Morillon ... Garde du vestibule
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The departure of the German Army from Paris in 1944.

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Storyline

A historical drama that depicts the relationship between Dietrich von Choltitz, the German military governor of occupied Paris, and Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then "only as a field of rubble". See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Général von Choltitz: As the French say, you only die once, but you stay dead a long time.
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Connections

Featured in Diplomatie: Making of (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

J'ai Deux Amours
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Georges Koger and Henri Varna
Performed by Madeleine Peyroux
Album Carelss Love (P) Rounder Record
© Francis Salabert Ed. S.A.
Avec l'autorisation d'Universal Music Vision
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User Reviews

 
Refreshing Humility in an Age of "Big" Movies
9 December 2014 | by wpedmonsonSee all my reviews

I got the chance to see "Diplomacy" last night at the Angelika in Dallas, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Twenty minutes into it, I saw where the movie was heading, the set up of it, and enjoyed every minute. The movie is a shining light on the wisdom, gentleness, and burden of age and power. Two elderly men are grappling, albeit with very different styles, over the future of Paris and its iconic treasures. It's a snapshot of history that I never saw, and holds a profound depth I won't forget.

The play-turned-movie is the story of the general in charge of the Nazi Occupation of Paris, and the Swedish diplomat who has a passing relationship with the man when the play begins. All of Paris' great architectural treasures are to be destroyed to buy time for the retreat of the Nazi army across France, and it's only a matter of hours before the order is given. The Swedish diplomat in his powerful and sly persuasive style takes on the general in trying to dissuade him through some of the most artful, intelligent and brilliant rhetoric I've seen in a movie. In many ways the film feels like a boxing match, a final scene in a Rocky movie between an underdog boxer and his strong but weary opponent who seemingly has no weaknesses.

There is both the German and French culture's strengths and weaknesses on display (even though the diplomat represents Sweden he openly says that Paris has embraced her and she him). I love this sort of contrast, particularly in showing that Germans have a softer side that's deep and valuable to them, and the French have a gristly fighting spirit that was formidable and feared up to this day; unfortunate stereotypes for both cultures. I read a quora article today about how the French didn't flee the Germans, they fought but in the WWI style that was ineffective against the Blitzkrieg (now adopted by all modern militaries in the world today). We also forget the British lost to the Germans shortly afterward, and were driven back to their island.

The movie feels like a play, which I would somewhat fault it for in some ways, but it doesn't become a distraction or take away from the film. Also the movie seems small at times, with 90% of the dialog happening in one room in a hotel where the Nazi general works. Granted, this is likely due to the low budget and it does help the motif of the movie being about the power these two men have over the fate of Paris.

This movie falls in line with a string of films lately that could almost make a genre itself: the artist/culturally sensitive figure fighting to preserve and save artistic treasures amidst a raging battle. "Monuments Men" and "The Train" come to mind immediately.

I can't help but think of all the destruction caused by wars, the Abbey at Monte Cassino being one, as well as several that we're seeing in the Middle East. I remember reading about how many important buildings and museums were threatened and attempted to be preserved as the US army went through Iraq.

Historical treasures that are destroyed by war is one of the greatest arguments against it, its chaos and disregard for what's most valuable in the world. A broader theme though is the value of an entire culture and its history, and how often war and strife easily take those down, possibly because they're so prominent and essential to a city's character. Coming from a country like the US, I don't have as acute a sense of this as those who live in Europe, but there is still something in humanity in which we are drawn to monumental art, and value it as more than just a tourist site. Paris is an easy example of this.

The movie is worth seeing, and it's quaint in its setting, and beams a sense of humility which is refreshing when movies in our time seem to fight to be the biggest (though the consequences of the decisions made in the movie are massive). It's where live theater has something to offer the world of movies, a kind of depth through being as small as possible.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

France | Germany

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

5 March 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Diplomacy See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,518, 19 October 2014

Gross USA:

$230,880

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,207,242
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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