3 Great Movies about the French Resistance


Army of Shadows (L'armée des ombres)


The Last Metro (Le dernier métro)

3 Great Movies about the French Resistance

Celebrating the airing of the French movie, Fallen from the Sky, about a woman who joins the resistance after helping a wounded British soldier, we have selected three must-see movies about the French Resistance. These productions became paramount to understand the movement because of their art and their revealing stories.

Army of Shadows (L'armée des ombres)

Considered as one of the best, and most critically acclaimed Resistance movies in history, Army of Shadows follows is a 1969 French drama-suspense film based on the book of the same name by Joseph Kessel. The film tells the story of a small group of Resistance fighters as they move between safe houses, work with the Allied militaries, kill informers, and attempt to evade the capture and execution that they know is their most likely fate.

The movie was not well received upon its release and was not distributed outside of France. However, after a 2006 restoration, Army of Shadows appeared in many critics' top ten lists of the best films of the year.

The Last Metro (Le dernier métro)

Directed by François Truffaut, one of the founders of the New Wave of French Cinema, The Last Metro features the talented Catherine Deneuve accompanying Gérard Depardieu in the main roles. The film takes place in Paris under Nazi occupation. In that context, an actress married to a Jewish theater owner must keep her husband hidden while both continue their work.

The film won ten César Awards in 1981 and was nominated in the category of Best Foreign Film at the Oscar Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la Pitié)

Different from the previous two, this is not a fiction film but a documentary. This revealing production is divided into two parts and depicts the collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany during World War II. The film uses interviews with a German officer, collaborators, and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature of and reasons for collaboration, including antisemitism, Anglophobia, fear of Bolsheviks and a Soviet invasion, and the desire for power.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 1971 for Best Documentary Feature and won the 1972 BAFTA award for Best Foreign TV Programme.

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The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la Pitié)

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