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In 1943, in the French Alps, the orphan Sébastien lives in a small village with his grandfather César, who is a shepherd, and his aunt Angélina, who is a baker. Sébastien misses his mother and believes she has traveled to America. He expects to get a watch with compass as a gift from her. The local Dr. Guillaume is a member of the Frech resistance that helps Jewish refugees to flee to Switzerland and the German Lieutenant Peter and troop are hunting down the resistance. When sheep are found slaughtered, César and the other residents believe that a stray dog that has been abused by his owner is the responsible and hunt it down. Sébastien finds the dog, gives the name of Belle to her and they become friends. But the animal is considered a beast by the inhabitants. Will Sébastien be capable to save Belle?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nicholas Vanier directed this adaptation of Cécile Aubry's novel (adaptation and screenplay by director Vanier with Juliette Sales and Fabien Suarez) n a film that is in both French and German with English subtitles. The result is a film for the heart – a reminder that during the atrocities of WW II there were moments of meaningful relationships, especially between animals and people (remember 'War Horse'?).
The film is set during WWII in the snowy Alps of occupied France, on the border of Switzerland. Six year old Sébastien (Félix Bossuet), raised and adopted by his grandfather, is lonely and dreaming of the day his mother will return from America for him. He befriends an enormous yet gentle sheepdog Belle who quickly becomes his best friend and protector. With Nazis in the village rooting out the resistance fighters helping Jewish refugees cross the border, Belle and Sébastien's loyalty to each other and the village that has embraced them both will be put to the test.
The scenery is magnificent and the acting by the young and gifted Félix Bossuet is extraordinary. It is a moment of devotion and love and caring and protection during WW II that creates a strong sense of caring about the true meaning of friendship.
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