An epic account of the occupation of small French industrial city Clermont-Ferrand by the Germans in World War 2. Ophuls combines interviews along with archive footage to explore the reality of occupation. Speaking to Resistance fighters, collaborators, spies, farmers, government officials, writers, artists and veterans, it is perhaps the most gripping and inspiring portrait of how ordinary people actually conducted themselves under extraordinary circumstances.
Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster, Emile Coulaudon, Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, René de Chambrun, Christian de la Mazière, Darquier de Pellepoix, Jacques Doriot, R. Du Jonchay, Jacques Duclos, Anthony Eden
- The Sorrow and the Pity review by PM
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You rated this film: 5
This film of a community under enemy occupation is a salutary lesson in human behaviour.
I am old enough to remember how we British reacted approvingly to the news that those French people who had consorted with the Germans during the war had been metaphorically, if not literally, tarred and feathered by their compatriots at the cessation of hostilities.
The passage of time has made me realise that the fraternisation which had occurred in France could, so easily, have happened here.
I commend this documentary film as a realistic commentary upon the human condition.