3 May 2020 | christian_fournier
Not a masterpiece, but!
This film is at least 60 years overdue, and this is due in part to a whole French generation living in the "shame of defeat" - a shame that has only slowly been overcome through historical research showing that the « Strange Defeat » (Marc Bloch) was in fact a « Strange Victory » (Ernest May), the result of a brilliant educated guess by the German General staff that the "decision loop" of the French command would be too slow to counteract a risky Ardennes breakthrough.
For the last 60 years, we French have been inundated with films glorifying the Anglo-American war, with only episodic reenactments of the European resistance movements ("The Guns of Navarone", "The Train", "The Heavy Water War", and a few others). At last, this is a thoroughly researched film which gives a true historical perspective of the French Resistance seen from within.
The film is by no means as gripping as Melville's "Army of Shadows", but one still gets the "look and feel" of what it was to be a Free French and an Interior Resistant in those days, along with nurturing the hopes for a better postwar society which were shared by all of the Resistance movements - a common credo which had to coexist with day-to-day political infighting for who would steer the future of France.
Not a masterpiece, but a honest and valuable film. I'm not at all sure that it will be an export triumph ! But as it stands, it will be invaluable for teaching the future generations what it meant for the French patriots to live and fight - however subterraneously - through this period ! _.