Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 40m
Part of the ‘A Cinematic Odyssey: Postcards from Europe’ strand.
Louis Malle’s semi-autobiographical tale of his childhood spent in a Carmelite boarding school near Fontainebleau in occupied France; is a beautifully realised portrait of friendship and youth.
One of the great movies about WWII and the German Occupation, set in January 1944. This is Malle’s key work – which he waited 42 years to make. This richly detailed, immaculately acted film traces the friendship between the two 12-year-olds, Julien (Gaspard Manesse) from a wealthy Catholic family – through whose eyes the events are seen – the other, Jean Bonnet (Raphaël Fejtö) a Jewish boy hidden by the priests, his identity concealed.
The crowded dorms and freezing classrooms suggest Dickens. It’s a movie about childhood, friendship, and how to understand a confused world.
The film’s quiet integrity finally depends on Malle’s avoidance of heroic cliché and stylistic bombast, and on the unindulgent generosity extended towards his characters.
The film will be introduced by Dr Paul Sutton, who will stay for the end of the film for a post-screening discussion in the front-tier of the downstairs seating area.