Sunday, November 23, 2014
A Secret (Un Secret) by Claude Miller, 2007
Claude Miller directs this engrossing drama about a Jewish boy in post-World War II Paris who stumbles upon a mysterious toy in the attic, exposing his family's secret dark past and how it survived Nazi atrocities. Can the child grasp the devastating truth, or will it drive him deeper into his personal fantasy world?
Again a movie on World War 2, with a closer look at the collaborationism, which made some French under the Vichy government commit cruelty against Jews the same way the Nazis did in Germany. It is not a topic that is widely spread, despite the fact that we study it in history class in France, mainly because of the shame, and the fact that it is easier to see France as one of the winners of World War 2 and highlight the resistance — which was also a powerful movement. The reality is that by 1940, France had surrendered and became another territory of Nazi Germany. The collaborationism is something that I was surprised to see in "Elle s'appelait Sarah - Sarah's Key" as still widely unknown. The movie is interesting in the way it is presented, from the very particular view point of a Jewish family with a father very liberal with religion, and yet very aware of how things could turn. He uses the example of the Dreyfus affair to show his surrounding there is something about France that might be a threat through the Nazi occupation. The movie also shows the post-war France and the will to have it all forgotten, as if everything was perfect again, which is a phenomenon we know more from the recovering Germany. The movie is very beautiful, with perfect scenery and people, but looking into details, it is full of little clues that makes you anticipate the collapse, such as a street plate that honors Marshal Pétain... The storyline is based on three periods, the present in black and white, the colorful post-war, and the less and less colored short time before the war and during war, going back and forth as the story unravels. The performances are great, Cecile De France so beautiful, and the cast is amazing.
with Cécile De France (Hereafter, L'auberge Espagnole), Patrick Bruel, Ludivine Sagnier (Swimming Pool), Julie Depardieu (Paris Je t'aime), Mathieu Amalric (Cosmopolis, Le Scaphandre et Le Papillon, Un Conte De Noel), Nathalie Boutefeu, Yves Verhoeven, Yves Jacques (Les garçons et Guillaume, à table), Sam Garbarski, Orlando Nicoletti, Valentin Vigourt
watch Un Secret trailer: