11 FRENCH FILMS DEALING WITH THE OCCUPATION OF FRANCE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

2021 UPDATE – MORE TITLES AND NOTES ADDED

Here are some French films on dvds dealing with France in the Second World War.

Army of CrimeL’ARMEE DU CRIME/ARMY OF CRIME  (15) 2009  FRANCE    GUEDIGUIAN, ROBERT    DVD – £15.99
French World War II drama chronicling the famous 1944 ‘Red Poster’ case, in which a group of foreign partisans defied French apathy to form their own resistance against the Nazi occupation.

FRENCH LANGUAGE NOTES TO L ARMEE DU CRIME

L’Armée du crime brochure de propagande

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Army of ShadowsL’ARMEE DES OMBRES/ARMY OF SHADDOWS (12) 1969  FRANCE  MELVILLE, J.P.  DVD –  £24.99
Based on the Joseph Kessel novel the film is one of the greatest and the most authentic film  portrayals of the French Resistance.

FRENCH LANGUAGE TEACHING ACTIVITIES

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Bon VoyageBON VOYAGE (12) 2004 FRANCE  RAPPENEAU, JEAN PAUL  DVD –  £19.99
Paris 1940. The eve of the Nazi takeover. Seven people flee the capital for Bordeaux in order to  escape the occupation, taking shelter at the Hotel Splendide.

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Wedding SongLE CHANT DES MARIÉES /THE WEDDING SONG (15) 2008 FRANCE  ALBO, KARIN U    IN ARABIC & FRENCH DVD –  £15.99
Drama set during World War Two, following two women who try to maintain their friendship under difficult circumstances. Nour and Myriam, an Arab and a Jew who have been best pals since childhood, find their lives in turmoil as the Nazis gain control over Tunis

FRENCH NOTES TO LE CHANT DES MARIÉES

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Sorrow and the PityLE CHAGRIN ET LA PITIÉ/SORROW AND THE PITY (E) FRANCE 1969  OPHULS, MARCEL  DVD –  £24.99 
Film combines interviews with archive footage to explore the reality of occupation of the industrial city Clermont-Ferrand by the Germans in World War Two.

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Last MetroLE DERNIER MÉTRO/LAST METRO (PG) FRANCE 1980 TRUFFAUT, FRANCOISDVD –  £19.99
The year is 1942, and Paris is occupied by German forces. Jewish theatre owner Lucas Steiner (Heinz Bennent) has handed over the control of his theatre to his actress wife Marion (Catherine Deneuve) while he hides out in the cellar, hoping to avoid capture by the Nazis. During rehearsals for the next production, the presence of a womanising actor (Gerard Depardieu) and a Nazi-sympathising journalist cause many difficulties for Marion.

Eventually, she is forced to decide between her loyalty to her husband and her love for her countrymen, and acts out her solution in the production she has been rehearsing. Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, the film also won 10 French Academy Awards in 1981.

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

SarahELLE S’APPELAIT SARAH/SARAH’S KEY (12) 2010  FRANCE  PAQUET-BRENNER, G.  DVD –   £17.99
A Jewish girl’s story opens wounds from France’s wartime past.  Living in Paris while her architect husband Bertrand (Frederic Pierrot) restores his family’s apartment block, writer Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) stumbles across the wartime history of the block’s original Jewish owners, who were arrested by the Vichy government as part of the notorious Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup of 1942 and forced to sell their property. As the story unfolds, Julia becomes increasingly haunted by the fate of ten-year-old Sarah Starzynski (Melusine Mayance), who, after being detained, escapes in a desperate attempt to return to the block where she has secretly hidden her younger brother.

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

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ENFANTS DU PARADISENFANTS DU PARADIS (PG) 1945 FRANCE  B/W   CARNE, MARCEL  DVD –  £19.99 BLU-RAY £22.99
Marcel Carne’s greatest work was made in  German-occupied  France  during the 2nd World   War. The story  intertwines the fates of four men who love one woman in 1820s  Paris. The central figure of the film, Garance, has also been likened to a symbol of a liberated  France, a woman who will never be dominated.

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Free MenLES HOMMES LIBRES/FREE MEN (12) 2011 FRANCE FERROUKHI, ISMAEL DVD –  £15.99
World War Two drama set in German-occupied Paris in 1942. Tahar Rahim stars as Younes, a young, unemployed, Algerian immigrant who is inspired   to become a freedom fighter after forming an unexpected friendship with Jewish singer Salim Halali (Mahmud Shalaby).

STUDY GUIDE

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Days of GloryINDIGÈNES/DAYS OF GLORY (12) 2006  FRANCE     BOUCHAREB, R.  DVD –  £5.99  BLU RAY – £22.99
This award-winning film  shows WWII through the eyes of four North African soldiers fighting for the French army during the German occupation.

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

FRENCH LANGUAGE PRESS KIT

FRENCH LANGUAGE TEACHING MATERIALS

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FORBIDDEN GAMESJEUX INTERDITS /FORBIDDEN GAMES (12) 1952 FRANCE    CLÉMENT, RENÉ   DVD –  £15.99
Set in France in 1940, the story follows five-year-old Paulette, who is left traumatised after her parents are killed in a Nazi air attack.  10 year old  Michel helps her cope with the deaths.

In French with English subtitles

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Some further films for consideration-

les amours secrètesLES AMOURS SECRÈTES (12) 2010 FRANCE PHELIZON, FRANCK £12.99
A Jewish man, reflects on the Second World War through his sister’s diary written in 1942 Nazi-occupied France.

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Artist and the ModelEL ARTISTA Y LA MODELO/ ARTIST AND THE MODEL (12) 2012 FRANCE TRUEBA, FERNANDO IN FRENCH/CATALAN & SPANISH £15.99
French border town during the Nazi occupation of WWII, an ageing artist is once again inspired to paint after his wife brings home a refugee from Franco’s Spain, the beautiful but naïve Merce.

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AU REVOIR LES ENFANTSAU REVOIR LES ENFANTS (PG) 1987 FRANCE MALLE, L. £19.99
Wartime drama set in a wintry catholic boarding school. The film probes the relationship between a young student and his reserved new Jewish classmate, who is hiding from the Germans.

JANE CRITCHLEY ONLINE LANGUAGE GUIDE TO AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS
Contains among many files – Teacher Guide, Amelie and General Film Vocabulary,Lesson Starters, Synopsis, Adjectives, Adjectives Exercises, WJEC Mark Scheme plus much more.

STUDY GUIDE

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

FILM VOCABULARY

AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS ACTIVITÉS DE VOCABULAIRE

VIEWING QUESTIONS FOR AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS

VOCABULARY, INFORMATION & QUESTIONS ON THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND, AND QUESTIONS & EXERCISES BASED ON THE SCENARIO

AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS VOCABULARY QUESTIONS IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH TO HELP PREPARE FOR ASSESSMENTS

BELLE AND SEBASTIANBELLE AND SEBASTIAN (PG) 2013 FRANCE VANIER, NICOLAS £19.99
Adventure film set in the French Alps in 1943. Based on the Cécile Aubry’s novel about a young boy and his dog. The film is an odyssey of a little boy searching for his mother, of an old man searching for his past, a Resistance fighter searching for love and a German officer searching for forgiveness.

FRENCH LANGUAGE PRESS KIT

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LE CORBEAULE CORBEAU (PG) 1943 FRANCE HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT £19.99
First French film noir made in German occupied France, which ensured a storm of controversy and it was attacked by the right-wing Vichy regime, the left-wing Resistance press and the Catholic Church.

The film is set in the small provincial St Robin, where a series of poison-pen letters signed ‘Le Corbeau’ appear to denounce several prominent members of the town. The dark side of St Robin is revealed, with the townspeople afraid to accuse each other for fear of being accused themselves, as suspicion and hatred becomes the norm.

FRENCH LANGUAGE TEACHING NOTES TO LE CORBEAU

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM NOTES TO LE CORBEAU

GERMAN LANGUAGE FILM NOTES TO LE CORBEAU

DIPLOMACYDIPLOMATIE/DIPLOMACY (12) 2014 FRANCE SCHLÖNDORFF, VOLKER £19.99
World War Two in occupied Paris and Adolf Hitler’s has ordered the destruction of many of the city’s famous landmarks. Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling tries to stall the German action while waiting for the Allied forces to save the city.

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Memoir of WarLA DOULEUR /MEMOIR OF WAR (12) FRANCE 2017 FINKIEL, EMMANUEL £15.99
Based on Marguerite Duras’ ‘La douleur’, the film tells the wartime story of Duras’ husband Robert Antelme, a communist resistance fighter who was arrested by the Germans in 1944 and sent to a Nazi concentration camp.

Duras begins a relationship with French Gestapo agent, Pierre Rabier, in an effort to find her husband. But does Rabier really want to help her? Or is he trying to dig up information about the anti-Nazi underground?

FRENCH LANGUAGE FILM NOTES TO LA DOULEUR

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM NOTES TO LA DOULEUR

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La Folle Histoire De MaxLA FOLLE HISTOIRE DE MAX ET LÉON (12) 2016 FRANCE BARRÉ, JONATHAN £19.99
Buddy movie and comedy set in 1939. Inseparable, utterly immature friends, Max and Léon, are in the army but decide to desert to return home to their old simple wine-drinking ways. But their desire to desert leads them to have many adventures, joining the Free French Force, becoming secret agents and working for Vichy Ministry of Propaganda.

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la grande vadrouilleLA GRANDE VADROUILLE (PG) 1966 FRANCE OURY, GERARD £15.99
French wartime comedy farce.

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

ENGLISH FILM GUIDE

ENGLISH LANGUAGES NOTES

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leon morin, pretreLEON MORIN, PRETRE (PG) 1961 FRANCE MELVILLE, JEAN-PIERRE £19.99
This most commercially successful film from Jean-Pierre Melville, depicts a love affair between an atheist (Emmanuele Riva) and a priest (Jean-Paul Belmondo) set against the backdrop of the French Occupation.

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lacome, lucienLACOME, LUCIEN (15) 1974 FRANCE MALLE, LOUIS £19.99
One of the first French films to deal with the collaboration during the Nazi occupation.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM GUIDE

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lucie autbracLUCIE AUBRAC (15) 1997 FRANCE BERRI, CLAUDE £19.99
A beautiful romance set in the Second World War and based on a true story. Lucie Aubrac must try to rescue her resistance fighter husband from prison.

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EvacuationEN MAI, FAIS CE QU’IL TE PLAÎT /THE EVACUATION (15) 2015 FRANCE CARION, CHRISTIAN £10.99
1940 and a French village is about to be overrun by German troops. The villagers decide to flee and the film tells multiple parallel storylines about those on the move, raging from a German resistance fighter, Hans and his 8 year old son, schoolteacher Suzanne and mayor Paul and Scottish officer Percy.

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round upLA RAFLE /ROUND UP (15) 2010 FRANCE BOSCJ, ROSE £17.99
Rose Bosch writes and directs this French drama based on real events that took place in Paris at the beginning of the Second World War. In July 1942 the French police, under Nazi orders, round up thousands of Jewish men, women and children to transport them to extermination camps in Poland. The film is told from the perspective of 11-year old Jo Weismann (Hugo Leverdez).

LA RAFLE RESOURCE GUIDE

ACTIVITIES FOR S4-S5 PUPILS

ANSWERS FOR S4-S5 (FOR TEACHERS)

ACTIVITIES FOR S6 PUPILS

ANSWERS FOR S6 (FOR TEACHERS)

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Resistance s1RÉSISTANCE : THE COMPLETE SERIES (12) 2015 FRANCE £24.99
Six-part French drama series set in Paris in 1940. 17-year-old Lili Franchet and her young friends band together to oppose the Nazi occupation by producing and distributing the underground ‘Resistance’ newspaper.

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A SECRETUN SECRET (15) 2007 FRANCE MILLER,CLAUDE £19.99
Adaptation of Philippe Grimbert’s bestselling novel, this film is a compelling account of a 15-year- old boy who unearths a shocking family secret.Spanning half a century, the film’s multi-layered narrative revolves around a Jewish family torn asunder during the impending German occupation of France during World War II.

FRENCH LANGUAGE STUDY GUIDE

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LE SILENCE DE LA MERLE SILENCE DE LA MER (PG) 1949 FRANCE MELVILLE, J.P. £19.99
Melville’s debut film is an adaptation of the novella by French resistance author Vercors, which was clandestinely written in 1942 during the Nazi occupation of France in WWII

TEACHING NOTES TO LE SILENCE DE LA MER

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man escaped 2UN CONDAMNÉ À MORT S’EST ÉCHAPPÉ OU LE/A MAN ESCAPED (U) 1966 FRANCE B/W BRESSON, ROBERT £15.99
Taut and exciting story of a daring escape by a French resistance leader in World War II

Based on the memoirs of André Devigny, Lieutenant Fontaine is a member of the French Resistance who is imprisoned and condemned to death by the Nazis.

The film follows his attempts to escape from his cell at Montluc with the help of his teenage cellmate, François Jost.

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SELF MADE HEROUN HÉROS TRÈS DISCRET/SELF MADE HERO (15) 1996 FRANCE AUDIARD, JACQUES £19.99
Comedy-drama set in the winter of 1944.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM GUIDE

ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILM GUIDE

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Surviving AuschwitzVICTOR YOUNG PEREZ/SURVIVING AUSCHWITZ (15) 2013 FRANCE OUANICHE, JACQUES £15.99
Biopic about the young Jewish Tunisian boxer ‘Young’ Perez (Brahim Asloum) who was arrested in Paris in 1943 and sent to Auschwitz to serve as a slave labourer and box for the viewing pleasure of the SS.

All titles in French with English subtitles

Link to set A Level Books and Films

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/a-level-set-titles

DVD available to buy at 

http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/french-dvds

1 thought on “11 FRENCH FILMS DEALING WITH THE OCCUPATION OF FRANCE IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR

  1. Reading the fine history When Paris Went Dark…thank you for this list…I’ve got some watching ahead of me!!

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