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A Bag of Marbles (2017)

Un sac de billes (original title)
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The adventure of a Jewish boy and his brother escaping Nazi persecution in occupied France.

Director:

Christian Duguay

Writers:

Jonathan Allouche (original screenplay), Christian Duguay (adaptation) | 8 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dorian Le Clech Dorian Le Clech ... Joseph Joffo
Batyste Fleurial Batyste Fleurial ... Maurice Joffo (as Batyste Fleurial Palmieri)
Patrick Bruel ... Roman Joffo
Elsa Zylberstein ... Anna Joffo
Bernard Campan ... Amboise Mancelier
Kev Adams ... Ferdinand
Christian Clavier ... Docteur Rosen
César Domboy ... Henri Joffo
Ilian Bergala Ilian Bergala ... Albert Joffo
Emile Berling Emile Berling ... Raoul Mancelier
Jocelyne Desverchère Jocelyne Desverchère ... Marcelle Mancelier
Coline Leclère Coline Leclère ... Françoise
Eric Bougnon Eric Bougnon ... Subinagué
Joël Dupuch Joël Dupuch ... Julien, le boulanger
Holger Daemgen Holger Daemgen ... Alois Brunner
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Storyline

The adventure of a Jewish boy and his brother escaping Nazi persecution in occupied France.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Gaumont [France]

Language:

French | German | Yiddish | Russian

Release Date:

23 March 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bag of Marbles See more »

Filming Locations:

Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,420, 25 March 2018

Gross USA:

$411,318
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in ACS France (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An important and powerful movie, brilliantly done!
12 June 2019 | by sashlaurenSee all my reviews

A BAG OF MARBLES (2017)

This is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

In 1941, Paris is occupied by the Nazi's. Ten-year-old Joseph and twelve-year-old Maurice, the two youngest sons of Russian Jewish immigrants Roman and Anna, come home from school for a quick dinner of soup, after which they are handed cash and a hand drawn map with directions they must memorize in order to make the trip on foot by themselves from Paris to Nice; there, the plan is to meet up with their parents a safe distance from the police round-ups in Paris. Roman, who owns a barbershop, has concluded that traveling alone is less conspicuous than trying to escape as a family unit.

Before the boys leave, Roman gives Joseph a lesson of how to deny he is a Jew; every time he asks his son, "Are you a Jew?" Joseph answers, "No," and Roman slaps him on his face, viscerally demonstrating what his sons might encounter during their journey. The boys are told not to trust anyone, there will be cons out there, and then, just like that, they are off on their own, heading away down the cobblestone street as Anna and Roman watch in tears from the window.

Earlier that afternoon, Joseph, (played by a precious and utterly honest Dorian Le Clech), traded his yellow Star of David patch for a bag of marbles, not fully understanding his religion, why he is being persecuted, or by whom. His innocence shines like the moon in a pitch black sky through the grueling situations that unfold over the course of this film. Jo's boyhood is lost to these ugly circumstsnces, but his boyish spirit beautifully endures throughout, which increases the drama and full investment in this story.

Traveling alone over mountaintops in France, heading for the Free Zone, the sweeping scenery brings to mind "The Sound of Music," but there are no choruses of Do Re Mi in this film. The boys encounter some cons, as they had been forewarned of, and also some helpers, including a young guide, and two men who risk their own safety to protect the lives of the young brothers. The boys are alternatively scrappy, scared, and brave as they pull on wisdom and perseverence to get them through terrible situations. I see this as a buddy picture as these devoted brothers fight for their lives together through rough and spectacular terrain.

I think that middle school children and teens as well as adults would get something from this excellent film.


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