107 minutes| France| 1996| Subtitled| Colour| Dolby Stereo| 35mm

This film screened 24th January 2010.

This is the film that brought Jacques Audiard international recognition following its triumph at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. The most overtly satirical of his movies, it’s a wonderfully imaginative adaptation of the novel by statesman and writer Jean-François Deniau.

An excellent Mathieu Kassovitz stars as Albert, an ordinary, none-too-bright young man who’s struggling to survive at the end of World War 2. Albert didn’t fight in the war, but in the confusion of 1944-45 he decides to create a new identity for himself by appropriating the true stories of others and pretending to be a member of the French Resistance. Typically, Audiard doesn’t take a tough stance on his protagonist’s deceit, seeing it as a metaphor for France’s grand illusions about its wartime record. Kassovitz’s performance elicits much sympathy for an unlikely hero, while Audiard celebrates artifice and subterfuge as he reveals how history gets rewritten.

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