I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see Francois Ozon’s “sumptuous period piece set in the aftermath of WW1, where a young woman forms an unlikely bond with a man she encounters at her late fiancé’s grave” (as the Watershed’s blurb puts it).
small German town after the end of the war, Anna (beautifully played by the
beautiful Paula Beer) mourns daily at the grave of her fiancé, who was killed
in battle. One day a mysterious young Frenchman Adrien (again, very well played
by Pierre Niney) also lays flowers on the grave… and the pair embark on a
friendship – in which Anna finds some solace in memories of her beloved.
That’s all I’m saying… you need to
see the film!
largely black-and-white film is apparently a loose adaptation of the 1932 Ernst
Lubitsch drama Broken Lullaby, which was in turn based on a play by French
playwright Maurice Rostand – although Ozon has written his own new second half
of the story.
is part-romance, part anti-war and highlights the struggles, sufferings and
reactions of people from both sides (in this case, German and French). The film
also highlights the rise of nationalism in Germany immediately after the first
world war – a theme which has been echoed recently with a rise of nationalism
in Europe generally (eg. Marine Le Pen’s far-right party gaining popular support
in France; UKIP’s voice in the depressing Brexit vote… and some politicians
calling for a return to borders).
powerful film about remembrance, love… and the pain (some would say ‘futility’)
I very much enjoyed it (and was
completely captivated by Paula Beer’s portrayal of Anna!).
PS: My enjoyment of the film was
somewhat marred by the two loud-mouthed, elderly (my age!), ‘posh’ ladies
sitting immediately behind me - who insisted on commenting on what was
happening on screen in ‘stage whispers’ throughout the film – DESPITE me twice
turning round and giving them my ‘look’!!
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