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Memoir of War (2017)

La douleur (original title)
Trailer
2:09 | Trailer
Marguerite must navigate through the hardships of the Liberation after losing her husband and starting a relationship with the enemy during the War.

Director:

Emmanuel Finkiel

Writers:

Marguerite Duras (novel), Emmanuel Finkiel (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mélanie Thierry ... Marguerite Duras épouse Antelme
Benoît Magimel ... Pierre Rabier
Benjamin Biolay ... Dionys Mascolo
Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet ... François Mitterrand - alias François Morland
Emmanuel Bourdieu Emmanuel Bourdieu ... Robert Antelme
Anne-Lise Heimburger Anne-Lise Heimburger ... Mme Bordes
Patrick Lizana Patrick Lizana ... Georges Beauchamp
Shulamit Adar Shulamit Adar ... Madame Katz
Joanna Grudzinska Joanna Grudzinska ... Thérèse
Caroline Ducey ... La cliente du restaurant Saint-Georges
Salomé Richard ... Une femme au rapatriement à Orsay
Olivier Veillon Olivier Veillon ... Un camarade du réseau
Bertrand Schefer Bertrand Schefer ... Un camarade du réseau
Mathias Labelle Mathias Labelle ... Un camarade du réseau
Nathan Gabily Nathan Gabily ... Un camarade du réseau
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Storyline

June 1944, France is still under the German occupation. The writer and communist Robert Antelme, major figure of the Resistance, is arrested and deported. His young wife Marguerite Duras, writer and resistant, is torn by the anguish of not having news of her and her secret affair with her comrade Dyonis. She meets a French agent working at the Gestapo, Pierre Rabier, and, ready to do anything to find her husband, puts himself to the test of an ambiguous relationship with this troubled man, only to be able to help him. The end of the war and the return of the camps announce to Marguerite Duras the beginning of an unbearable wait, a slow and silent agony in the midst of the chaos of the Liberation of Paris.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Life of Marguerite Duras, Bestselling Authout of The Lover

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

France | Belgium | Switzerland

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 August 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Memoir of War See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,653, 19 August 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$103,306, 6 December 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (as Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of France for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 91st Academy Awards in 2019. See more »

Connections

References The Great Dictator (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
Written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
(1792)
See more »

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User Reviews

An immersive art-house memoir of WWII. It's a work of cinematic art.
30 September 2018 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"In Paris, I found myself surrounded by Germans; they were all over the place. They played music, and people would go and listen to them! All along rue de Rivoli, as far as you could see from place de la Concorde, there were enormous swastika banners five or six floors high. I just thought, This is impossible." Pearl Witherington Cornioley

While many on all sides of WWII suffered immeasurably, along with them was Marguerite (Melanie Thierry), not suffering the physical slings but emotionally tortured waiting for the return during liberation of her imprisoned resistance husband, Robert (Emmanuel Bourdieu). Memoir of War is a slow burn of waiting, expertly paralleling her longing for his return as we suffer a long but engrossing expectation with her.

Director/writer Emmanuel Finkiel, skillfully adapting the discursive Marguerite Duras novel, based on her experience, provides a linear story that simmers with desire for Robert's return while she spurns attention from a resistance colleague, Dionys (Benjamin Biolay), and a Nazi collaborator Pierre Rabier (Benoit Magimel). Finkiel's constant closeups of her cinematic face reveal the subtle torture she goes through as she spurns Dionys's advances and barters with Rabier for her husband's return.

After the Rabier sequences, the film almost exclusively centers on her turmoil of waiting until a denouement worthy of a potboiler depicting the converging conflicts of her loyalty in the face of Robert's imminent return. The film successfully immerses us in her waiting and her conflicts, as anyone who has, for instance, endured the slow death of a loved one to a disease. I suspect that torture is similar to waiting for a prisoner to return, probably a skeleton of himself looking already close to death if not almost there already.

Memoir of War, depicting the life of an acclaimed memorist, novelist, and author of the classic Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), is not for the frequently ADD American audience (admittedly, it is too long for almost any audience); it belongs to the province of thoughtful cinephiles who love the quiet characterization of grand souls in conflict.

Superhero film this is not; classic European filmmaking with a substantial heroine it is.


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