June 1940. German troops advance on Paris. Widowed teacher Odile is subjected to a widespread panic and joins an exodus from the city with her two children. When a German plane attacks the road, she and the mass of refugees have nowhere to hide. A Shaven headed youth, Yvan, leads them away from the carnage. Yvan finds an abandoned house and breaks in. With no radio or clocks, they are cut off from the outside world and struggle to survive in their makeshift habitat. Odile does not trust Ivan’s wild instincts but he does take care of them, sparking intense feelings of fear, longing, dread and desire between them.
Following the defeat of their army in 1940, many of the civilian population of Paris fled the city as the German army approached. The roads to the south became choked with people and their vehicles and hundreds of thousands became refugees in their own country. “Strayed” tells the story of one family and how they try to cope in these circumstances. Emmanuelle Béart plays the mother and Gaspard Ulliel, who resurfaces later in “Hannibal Rising” is the outcast loner who helps the family escape from a Luftwaffe attack on the refugee column and becomes their protector and provider despite Béart’s disapproval of him. It’s a handsome film but as the director chooses to spend most of its running time examining the unfolding relationship between Béart and Ulliel in their rural retreat, it loses all sense of time and place and we learn nothing new about this chaotic wartime period.