Sorrow and the Pity, The* (Le chagrin et la pitie)

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Sorrow and the Pity, The* (Le chagrin et la pitie)

  • 1969 ----- b & w ----- 251 min ----- dvd
  • (Directed by Marcel Ophuls) Part One: The Collapse (L'Effondrement) (121 min); Part Two: The Choice (Le Choix) (127 min) Tells the story of France and one small industrial city, Clermont-Ferrand, under Nazi occupation by weaving together interviews as well as newsreel clips and propaganda films shot by the Nazis. Ophuls skillfully utilizes interviews with people who often contradict each other, so the story of France not only occupied but bitterly divided against itself fully emerges. Ordinary Frenchmen who found themselves performing heroic acts for the Resistance recall the dangers they faced while those who collaborated with the Nazis make excuses. A former Nazi officer pompously puts a benighn face on what occurred where he was stationed; interviews with French residents utterly refute his sanitized version of the past. Includes evidence of how wide-spread the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis were accepted by Petain's collaborationistic, puppet government. Today, it remains a staggering achievement in the history of world cinema! [Letterboxed] (In French with English subtitles) (Restricted to use on University of Washington campuses only)
  • Topics: (Community Life, Europe, History: European, Jewish Studies, Motion Pictures: Documentary, Motion Pictures: Features, Political Science: European, Romance Languages and Literature, War and Peace)