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The Sorrow and the Pity

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Original title
Le chagrin et la pitié
Running time
251 min.
France France
Marcel Ophüls, André Harris
André Gazut, Jürgen Thieme (B&W)
Co-production France-Switzerland-Germany; Télévision Rencontre / Norddeutscher Rundfunk / Télévision Suisse-Romande
Documentary. War | II World War. Nazism
Synopsis / Plot
From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with René de Chambrun, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.
1971: Academy Awards: Nominated for Best Documentary
1971: BAFTA Awards: Best Foreign TV Programme
1972: National Board of Review: Best Foreign Language Film and Top Foreign Films
1973: New York Film Critics Circle: Special Citation
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