Resistance
Lucie Aubrac, Bon Voyage, Les Femmes de l’ombre and L’Armée du crime
in Reframing remembrance
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Chapter 1 discusses French resistance on screen. It begins with an overview of the depiction of French resistance in films made prior to 1995, including works of Clément, Melville, Bresson and Poiré. The contemporary case studies in this chapter represent and glorify resistance, paying particular homage to militarised Resistance movements during the Occupation. These three films paint a complicated political picture of the Resistance and the various organisations which fell under this term. An analysis of Claude Berri’s Lucie Aubrac and its subsequent scandals discusses the representation of ‘obvious’ resistance by ordinary French citizens and the problematic bias of biopics. Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s Bon Voyage is a broad-stroke depiction of resistance that focuses largely on the middle and upper classes. It charts (in a strangely light-hearted way) the journeys of several French citizens belonging to a Resistance cell during the Occupation. Les Femmes de l’ombre is a fictionalised account of a female group of Resistance fighters who, though reticent at first, respond to an appeal to fight for their nation, many sacrificing themselves for the greater good along the way. L’Armée du crime shifts focus to the Resistance group led by Missak Manouchian. Immortalised in l’Affiche rouge (the red poster), this group consisted of migrant Communist resistants who again made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting against the occupying forces.

Reframing remembrance

Contemporary French cinema and the Second World War

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