Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More at the movies























I also saw over the weekend Joyeux Noel very moving anti-war French movie, directed by Christian Carion, which was an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. It depicts a true incident from Christmas, 1914, in which three armies -- British (Scots), French and Germans -- declared an unofficial armistice for a few days over the holiday season. They drank, shared food, buried their dead, talked, sang and exchanged addresses (Their governments later declared it an act of treason). In a way, it's more than just an anti-war movie. It's also a eulogy for the European civilization that was destroyed in the Great War and which never came back to life. It was the tragic opening of the violent and tragic twentieth century.

5 comments:

Reel Fanatic said...

I had somehow forgotten all about this one .. thanks for the reminder!

R J Stove said...

My only criticism of Joyeux Noël concerns its occasional inaccuracies concerning the Catholic clergy. The priest was shown as offering his open-air Mass while facing the congregation: unthinkable before Vatican II. (Offering it without wearing his priestly vestments would be a no-no in most Catholic churches even now.) But on the whole, certainly, a very touching movie, and a lament in the spirit of Wilfred Owen's great lines:

"f you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent
tongues,---
My friend, you would not tell with such high
zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
"

Global Paradigms said...

Rob; Thanks for the comments. I suppose that there are a lot of "things" in this movie that don't make sense (just imagine the reactions from a WWI veteran/survivor watching the movie). And as much as I'm opposed to the Iraq War I didn't care for the attempts to try to apply the "lessons" of that war to this war. After all, it's difficult to conceive of Shiite, Sunni and Christian soldiers praying together on Christmas... Leon

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