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The Sorrow and the Pity

The Sorrow and the Pity

Matheus Bleibinger
Director: Marcel Ophüls Cast: Matheus Bleibinger
Matheus Bleibinger
, Georges Bidault
Georges Bidault
, Pierre Mendès-France
Pierre Mendès-France
Marcel Ophüls

DVD (Subtitled)

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Made for French television, Marcel Ophüls' four-hour-plus documentary explores the average French citizen's memories of the Nazi occupation. Just how large and effective was the fabled resistance movement? Is cooperation the same thing as collaboration? And how did one's up-close-and-personal experiences with the occupation troops impact one's postwar life? These questions are probingly posed (but not all are answered) by Ophüls, who also acts as offscreen interviewer. The first half of the film is a mosaic of sights and sounds from the years 1940-1944: Maurice Chevalier singing for the German troops, clips of propagandistic newsreels, appalling vignettes from the scurrilous anti-Semitic film drama Jew Suss (1940), and the like. Ophüls' interpretation of history as the "process of recollection, in things like choice, selective memory, rationalization" is fully illustrated in the film's long second half, which is devoted almost entirely to interviews, in which the subjects display emotions ranging from mild embarrassment to abrupt rage.

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Product Details

Release Date: 06/28/2011
UPC: 0784148007441
Original Release: 1971
Source: Milestone Video
Time: 4:11:00
Sales rank: 28,811

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Matheus Bleibinger Interviewee
Georges Bidault Interviewee
Pierre Mendès-France Participant
Anthony Eden Participant
Claude Levy Participant
Denis Rake Participant
Alexis Grave Participant
Louis Grave Participant
Maurice Chevalier Participant

Technical Credits
Marcel Ophüls Director,Producer,Screenwriter
André Harris Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Sorrow and the Pity: The Collapse
1. Part One: The Collapse [4:15]
2. Two Brothers [6:00]
3. The Arrival of the Germans [10:22]
4. A Changing Political Climate [10:23]
5. The Legion of Companions [11:22]
6. The Marshall's Visit; Discussing the French & British Navies [11:13]
7. Race Ideology [6:04]
8. Franco-German Economic Collaboration [7:52]
9. The Written Word [9:05]
10. On Trial For Desertion [8:19]
11. Work, Family & Nation [8:19]
12. The French Drama; Anti-Semitic Films [20:17]
13. The Resistance in Auvergne [5:03]
14. End Credits [2:57]
Disc #2 -- Sorrow and the Pity: The Choice
1. Part Two: The Choice [3:13]
2. Clermont Remembered [8:48]
3. Almost Too Nice [3:02]
4. The Resistance and Allied Forces [7:18]
5. The Various Levels of French Society [6:58]
6. The Early Resistance [9:15]
7. The Black Sheep [8:46]
8. The Issue of Communism [6:02]
9. De Gaulle and the Free French [10:47]
10. The Words of Laval; Anti-Semitism [17:00]
11. A Visit to Sigmaringen Castle [11:02]
12. Defeating Bolshevism [6:08]
13. Different States of Mind [5:28]
14. The Price of a Wig [8:39]
15. Judge & Jury [13:34]
16. End Credits [2:07]

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