LA FRANCE
LA FRANCE


DIRECTOR
Serge Bozon

SCREENPLAY
Serge Bozon & Axelle Ropert

CAST
Camille: Sylvie Testud
Le Lieutenant: Pascal Greggory
Le Cadet: Guillaume Verdier

AWARDS
Prix Jean Vigo (2007)

GENRE
Drama

DISTRIBUTOR
Lorber Films

RUNNING TIME 102’
PRODUCTION France, 2007
RATING Not Rated
GAUGE DVD




The first World War is almost a pretext here for something else. For example, what binds a group or a couple, and how does one leave the first for the second. The soldiers grab funny-looking instruments and break out into hybrid songs, archaic and sophisticated at the same time. What do these vagabond soldiers represent? It is tempting to see them as disillusioned militants as much as smugglers, a band of cinephiles or a rock group.
Jacques Morice, Télérama.

Serge Bozon’s singular, extraordinary La France, cowritten with Axelle Ropert, is a drama about the horrors, loneliness, and camaraderie of World War I that intermittently (four times, to be specific) blooms into a delirious musical. Liberty, equality, fraternity: Gaul’s motto is dissected throughout Bozon’s movie, which laments the folly of nationalism. Joining the simple, straightforward title of the film are the songs themselves: “England,” “Italy,” “Germany” and “Poland,” all of which begin with the line “I, the blind girl…,” sung by weary soldiers who come to life with their handcrafted string instruments, made from cans and other everyday detritus. Sylvie Testud plays Camille, a soldier’s wife who goes in search of her husband, posing as a man to join ten combatants led by Pascal Greggory. Testud has repeatedly proven herself to be one of the greatest actresses working today; in La France, that skill is evident in the look of pure enchantment on Camille’s face the first time her comrades break into anachronistic song—creamy, harmonious nuggets that sound like Beach Boys’ singles or other pop hits from the mid-1960s. Fittingly, Bozon ends his one-of-a-kind war story with a scene that takes us to another world.

 



 
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