Lucie Aubrac

Director: Claude Berri

Claude Berri (Jean de Florette, Germinal) continues his examination of French history in this superbly crafted story of love and courage during the terrible years of German Occupation. Carol Bouquet, who finally succeeds in jettisoning her fashion-model image, gives the performance of her career as the wife of a Resistance hero (played by the ever reliable Daniel Auteuil) after he has been arrested by the Gestapo.
Set in Lyon and based on an autobiographical novel, the film opens in March 1943, when Raymond Samuel and his wife Lucie, using the assumed name of Aubrac, are active in the Resistance. On June 21, Raymond is arrested together with Jean Moulin, and sentenced to death. Lucie, a history teacher at a girls’ school, tries everything in her power to save her husband. Despite being pregnant, she risks all in a daring plan that involves deceiving the authorities and even murdering people.
The film caused considerable controversy in France over its historical stance, but Berri managed to secure the endorsement of the real Lucie. He brings her extraordinary story to the screen as a dark historical thriller which captures all the dangers of the Resistance fighters’ existence. As Bouquet commented, I think Lucie possessed her own unambiguous sense of good and evil, a sense of the need to make decisions quickly. There was no room for moral doubt.
Boasting the kind of high production values and visual richness that one comes to expect from Berri, Lucie is distinguished by the factual basis if its story and the wholly convincing performance of its admirable leading actors.

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