Le Chagrin et la Pitié (The Sorrow and the Pity) (1971)
Average Rating: 8.6/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 0
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Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 1,168
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
Jan 1, 1970 Wide
Apr 24, 2001
Cinema 5 Distributing
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It's valuable mainly as a brilliant assemblage of documents and testimonies.
The mosaic is comprehensive, the documentation overwhelming, particularly regarding the nature and extent of collaboration.
In its complexity, its humanity, its refusal to find easy solutions, this is one of the greatest documentaries ever made.
It remains the preeminent documentary about historical tragedy and one of the most exhilaratingly demanding experiences the movies have ever offered.
The postwar, Gaullist myth of massive French resistance to fascism has long since been destroyed, yet The Sorrow and the Pity retains its shattering power as an interrogation of memory.
A work which helped change the way France viewed its own past, The Sorrow And The Pity is an impressively assembled documentary which combines archival footage and detailed personal testimonies to profound effect.
Through its scale, intelligence, wit, imaginative organisation and polemical thrust, it changed the face of the documentary forever.
The film is so boldly conceived, richly textured and beautifully paced that its marathon running time feels more like a sprint.
Documentary about the horrors of occupying a foreign country. Especially well worth watching now.
What is exceptional about the film is its comprehensive structure.
A grand, astonishingly comprehensive document, recorded with unfailing persistence and intelligence.
Though lengthy and obviously downbeat, the 1970 film should be a staple for all serious filmgoers.
For any history buff, this film is a must-see. (Try breaking it up into chunks.)
Ophüls is more relentless than Mike Wallace in getting beneath the cover stories and revealing the truth.
Audience Reviews for Le Chagrin et la Pitié (The Sorrow and the Pity)
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