Sunday, April 12, 2015

526. Le Chagrin et la pitie

Le Chagrin et la pitie
The Sorrow and the Pity
Directed by Marcel Ophuls

I apologize that it has been so long since I posted on this.  Once again, I had a hard time finding this anywhere and finally had to ask my sister to get it out of one of her "fancier" libraries and wait for her to visit.  As is often the case, this movie was not worth the trouble that it took to get it.

I was pretty sure that I had seen this film already and was surprised when I didn't see a checkmark.  I guess there are so many World War II documentaries in this Book that they all start to blend together.   Or maybe I just thought I saw since it is mentioned in Annie Hall, which is one of my favorite movies.  Or maybe I am just stupid.  It really could be a combination of all those things.

This movie consists of talking head interviews.  The first half doesn't mention the Holocaust too much, it is mostly about the actual fighting of World War II.  Damn, that was boring.  Because all 99% of the interviews were in French, I pretty much read for four hours.  It was like reading a primary source textbook, but slightly less interesting, since no major players were interviewed.  The second half was a bit more intriguing, since it dealt with more personal stories.  Still, by the time the three hour mark passed, I was ready to call it a day.

I might have been harder on this film since we have seen so many great WWII films in The Book.  Maybe I am spoiled.  I am not very sure of myself in this review, am I?  Here is something I am sure about: Night and Fog is a much better option.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Was set to be a French television series but they refused to air it.


  1. I was aware of this movie from Annie Hall also and it sounds terrible. How do these movies get picked for the book! You really have to see this before you die? Really?

  2. I get your point.. and 'Night and Fog' is only about 30/40 mins, whilst this is ... days.. long.. but I'm not sure i agree about it blending in with all the other WWII films.. I felt this was really very distinctive.
    Not a fun watch at all but it's not supposed to be... Do we 'have to' watch this? Good point, and I guess we don't.. but perhaps we should?

    And yes.. I'm afraid I have to admit to being keen to watch it after it got the 'plug' from Alvy Singer in Annie Hall. I wonder if that counts as 'product placement'???

  3. Well I also kind of think it is a bit different from the World War II movies, but not in a good way.