September, 1945. Sebastian impatiently waits for the return of his friend Angelina, whom he has not seen for two years. When the plane carrying the young woman to her small village in the ... See full summary »
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
Belle and Sebastian may also be the name of a band or an appliance brand but this review deals with the recent French film by that name. In it, a boy and his fluffy white dog save Jewish refugees from the Nazi occupation of France by leading them over the French Alps into Switzerland. Why don't the soldiers just follow them into unarmed Switzerland and take back the escapees is a good question for your history teacher. Beyond the honoring of true-life heroic acts taken by the French resistance, the movie is also an excuse to film some stunning visuals in the boy's largely vertical world. Within this world some sad and sophisticated things happen (including a least 2 double-crosses) so clearly this isn't an American children's picture. Some sad stuff happens as well but not as much as you expect for a French film. The acting is overwrought at times but generally very good - the dog is excellent. In short, worth taking your older children to and having them learn something.
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