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THE WAR IS OVER

Director: ALAIN RESNAIS

122 minutes| France-Sweden| 1966| Subtitled| Black and White| 35mm


This is perhaps Resnais’ most overtly political and conventionally structured film but no less gripping for that. Yves Montand is superb as the exiled Spanish militant who is still engaged in plotting against the Franco regime thirty years after the civil war but becoming ever more doubtful about his and the country’s future. After his near-arrest at the border, we follow him during a tense three days in Paris as he argues tactics and strategy with increasingly endangered comrades and meets up with two women, his partner Marianne (Ingrid Thulin), with whom he could settle down, and the young activist Nadine (Genevieve Bujold), who could reinvigorate his idealism. At the time thought to be stylistically and even politically conservative, the film actually foretells the student protests of ’68 and its editing is astonishingly inventive, with flash-forwards that are not so much intimations of the future as reflective of the hero’s ingrained sense of anticipation but also of his gathering uncertainty and fear.

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