Directed by Bertrand Tavernier

France and its filmmakers have at times been a bit reticent in dealing with the nation’s life under Nazi occupation, especially the thorny issue of collaboration. Tavernier’s latest tackles the topic with a passion for cinema history and a heartfelt gratitude to the heroes of the day. Based on conversations with the actual participants, the film depicts the lives of screenwriter Jean Aurenche and assistant director Jean Devaivre in their work for the Nazi-run Continental Film Studios. Aurenche incorporates satire and smuggles political messages into scripts for comedies and musicals whilst Devaivre works undercover for the Resistance, traversing France on his bicycle and dealing with danger on a regular basis. Alongside is the daily business of filmmaking where the notion of a collaborative art takes on new meaning. ‘An entrancing, rueful inquiry into movies as historical cross-examination.’ The Village Voice, N.Y.

170 minutes

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