J'Accuse! (I Accuse) Reviews

  • Sep 26, 2017

    This is the best anti-militarist picture I've ever seen and will likely ever be. This masterpiece contains so much force in itself, it's like literally watching moving pictures (painted pictures). Abel Gance is undoubtedly one the most important directors of silent cinema. I refuse to believe watching his movies that they were made so long ago. If you ever want to see the most real and truthful picture concerning WW1 this is the one. The message is universal and not cryptic, it's obvious. The technical side of the film is astonishing, the hand of a master and passionate cinema lover is felt. There's another point. What can serve better to a film than a talented director with first hand experience. How modern directors can beat this sitting in their studios, homes bored, even with their tremendous help - CGI. Directors, poets and in overall people of art in the past were the most curious people in the world, they traveled and learned about everything they want to write or film. Abel Gance conceived the idea of this movie during WW1 when he started to receive news of numerous deaths of his relatives, friends. He served in the army as an operator, saw the war. People like Hemingway, for example, who witnessed a lot of things he later wrote about; that's why their works are so highly esteemed: first hand experience. You cannot say this about any modern director, writer or artist, sadly. People of art have become not so passionate I should say. Not all, of course, but in general. The ending sequence, "the return of the dead", is the most impressive and emotional ending ever put on film. It's just so unexpected and powerful - the movie turns from drama to supernatural horror movie - it's unbelievable. I couldn't hold my breath when one dead soldier pleaded to his dead comrades: "Let's see if they deserve our deaths". I'm sure the images of this film will haunt me for the rest of my life; this is one of those rare pictures that leave a lasting mark on your memory.

    This is the best anti-militarist picture I've ever seen and will likely ever be. This masterpiece contains so much force in itself, it's like literally watching moving pictures (painted pictures). Abel Gance is undoubtedly one the most important directors of silent cinema. I refuse to believe watching his movies that they were made so long ago. If you ever want to see the most real and truthful picture concerning WW1 this is the one. The message is universal and not cryptic, it's obvious. The technical side of the film is astonishing, the hand of a master and passionate cinema lover is felt. There's another point. What can serve better to a film than a talented director with first hand experience. How modern directors can beat this sitting in their studios, homes bored, even with their tremendous help - CGI. Directors, poets and in overall people of art in the past were the most curious people in the world, they traveled and learned about everything they want to write or film. Abel Gance conceived the idea of this movie during WW1 when he started to receive news of numerous deaths of his relatives, friends. He served in the army as an operator, saw the war. People like Hemingway, for example, who witnessed a lot of things he later wrote about; that's why their works are so highly esteemed: first hand experience. You cannot say this about any modern director, writer or artist, sadly. People of art have become not so passionate I should say. Not all, of course, but in general. The ending sequence, "the return of the dead", is the most impressive and emotional ending ever put on film. It's just so unexpected and powerful - the movie turns from drama to supernatural horror movie - it's unbelievable. I couldn't hold my breath when one dead soldier pleaded to his dead comrades: "Let's see if they deserve our deaths". I'm sure the images of this film will haunt me for the rest of my life; this is one of those rare pictures that leave a lasting mark on your memory.

  • Aug 25, 2013

    Notable for capturing some of the earliest zombie scenes in film history, J'Accuse is really a war melodrama with a steadfast antiwar message.

    Notable for capturing some of the earliest zombie scenes in film history, J'Accuse is really a war melodrama with a steadfast antiwar message.

  • Feb 29, 2012

    Gance might be the most visionary silent film director outside of the German expressionist movement. Absolutely brilliant!

    Gance might be the most visionary silent film director outside of the German expressionist movement. Absolutely brilliant!

  • Jun 05, 2011

    For people who like older movies that today serve as excellent period pieces.....at the time of the piece....and carry a cogent storyline and the appearance of characters that would later become stock characters in film and tv. Pop up some popcorn, pour a beverage and this movie will serve it justice

    For people who like older movies that today serve as excellent period pieces.....at the time of the piece....and carry a cogent storyline and the appearance of characters that would later become stock characters in film and tv. Pop up some popcorn, pour a beverage and this movie will serve it justice

  • Jun 05, 2011

    ok silent not really my cup-o-tea

    ok silent not really my cup-o-tea

  • Feb 05, 2011

    Fantastisch gerestaureerde film met mooie livemuziek gezien in Grand Theatre tijdens het Rotterdams Filmfestival. Kippenvelmoment. =)

    Fantastisch gerestaureerde film met mooie livemuziek gezien in Grand Theatre tijdens het Rotterdams Filmfestival. Kippenvelmoment. =)

  • Jan 23, 2011

    Fascinating look at France during WWI, although it drags during the final 45 minutes.

    Fascinating look at France during WWI, although it drags during the final 45 minutes.

  • Jan 17, 2011

    If you have read my previous review of Abel Gance's Napoleon - 1927, then you will know that I hold Abel Gance is the highest possible esteem, he was one of the first great visionaries of Cinema and a genius director who gets far too little recognition these days. J'Accuse is one of three films which are widely considered to be Abel Gances finest, the others are Napoleon and La Roue, I'll be viewing La Roue soon and will maybe write a piece about it. This was not Gances first film, in fact he had directed more than 20 before this one, but this was his breakthrough film and the first film to be made about the First World War. It earned him an international reputation as one of the most important directors in Europe, he was acclaimed by audiences in France and England alike and upon releasing his film in the US was congratulated by D.W. Griffith ,who was greatly impressed. Out of the films budget of 500,000 Francs, he made more than 3 million, it was a great success, critically and commercially. Yet now it has been almost forgotten and is very hard to find, it's audience is almost entirely composed of film students, in particular those studying French cinema, yet it deserves so much more, it deserves to be recognised as one of highlights of the silent era, alongside such films as Metropolis, The Birth of A Nation and The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari. But despite the films later successes it hadn't had an easy start, funding was hard to find so soon after the war, especially for an Anti-war film so powerful and full of righteous anger against those responsible for the horrific war, as this one is. In fact the only reason Gance managed to secure funds for his project was because he claimed it was a patriotic film, when in fact it strongly condemned and even denounced patriotism and it's follies, the politicians, the whole government as the cause of this pointless war, and above all the insanity of war. read the rest of this (lengthy) review here: http://jacklfilmreviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/jaccuse-1919.html#more

    If you have read my previous review of Abel Gance's Napoleon - 1927, then you will know that I hold Abel Gance is the highest possible esteem, he was one of the first great visionaries of Cinema and a genius director who gets far too little recognition these days. J'Accuse is one of three films which are widely considered to be Abel Gances finest, the others are Napoleon and La Roue, I'll be viewing La Roue soon and will maybe write a piece about it. This was not Gances first film, in fact he had directed more than 20 before this one, but this was his breakthrough film and the first film to be made about the First World War. It earned him an international reputation as one of the most important directors in Europe, he was acclaimed by audiences in France and England alike and upon releasing his film in the US was congratulated by D.W. Griffith ,who was greatly impressed. Out of the films budget of 500,000 Francs, he made more than 3 million, it was a great success, critically and commercially. Yet now it has been almost forgotten and is very hard to find, it's audience is almost entirely composed of film students, in particular those studying French cinema, yet it deserves so much more, it deserves to be recognised as one of highlights of the silent era, alongside such films as Metropolis, The Birth of A Nation and The Cabinet Of Dr Caligari. But despite the films later successes it hadn't had an easy start, funding was hard to find so soon after the war, especially for an Anti-war film so powerful and full of righteous anger against those responsible for the horrific war, as this one is. In fact the only reason Gance managed to secure funds for his project was because he claimed it was a patriotic film, when in fact it strongly condemned and even denounced patriotism and it's follies, the politicians, the whole government as the cause of this pointless war, and above all the insanity of war. read the rest of this (lengthy) review here: http://jacklfilmreviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/jaccuse-1919.html#more

  • Mar 28, 2010

    Remarkably engrossing for a nearly 3-hour silent movie. Some heavy-handed anti-war imagery (dancing skeletons!). Worth a look.

    Remarkably engrossing for a nearly 3-hour silent movie. Some heavy-handed anti-war imagery (dancing skeletons!). Worth a look.

  • Feb 27, 2009

    Old, silent French movie. It's about a man who is in love with a woman but she marries a drunk and then both men go to war and become good friends and then they come back and... It's long, but worth it.

    Old, silent French movie. It's about a man who is in love with a woman but she marries a drunk and then both men go to war and become good friends and then they come back and... It's long, but worth it.