Wartime

Provincial Living - - Entertainment -

WWII saw the French film in­dus­try firmly un­der the thumb of the Nazi oc­cu­piers, but in the true spirit of “lib­erté”, this was the mo­ment in history when French cin­ema reached its height. Mar­cel Carné’s Les En­fants du Par­adis (Chil­dren of Par­adise, 1945) is fre­quently voted the best French film of all time.

It took two and a half years to make and suf­fered all man­ner of set­backs, from power fail­ures to storms to the Nazi regime, but the film fi­nally made it to screens soon af­ter the lib­er­a­tion of Paris. Set in the 1820’s, it is a sump­tu­ous three-hour epic with much to say about life in con­tem­po­rary oc­cu­pied France. The film’s hero­ine, Garance, is the em­bod­i­ment of the French spirit un­der the Ger­man oc­cu­pa­tion – im­pos­si­ble to sub­due.

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