Monday, July 6, 2009

Movie Recommendation: Au Revoir Les Enfants

I just watched Au Revoir Les Enfants, a 1987 docu-drama about a Catholic boys' school in Nazi-occupied France. Many WWII films are melodramatic or make the war into a typical American tale where the good guys win.

In contrast, Au Revoir Les Enfants avoids all melodrama. Its beauty comes from its stunning realism of the war and its victims. Au revoir gains a lasting imprint in the viewer's psyche because of its understated simplicity. I recommend the film. (4 out of 5 stars)

Bonus: if you haven't seen the Hobart Shakespeareans (2004), you are missing out. It's one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. The documentary follows an elementary school teacher and his class of inner-city, immigrant students as they learn Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and other famous authors. Special appearance by Sir Ian McKellen.

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