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Au revoir les enfants (1987)

Au revoir les enfants (1987)

Gaspard ManesseRaphael FejtöFrancine RacetteStanislas Carré de Malberg
Louis Malle


Au revoir les enfants (1987) is a French,German,English,Greek,Latin movie. Louis Malle has directed this movie. Gaspard Manesse,Raphael Fejtö,Francine Racette,Stanislas Carré de Malberg are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1987. Au revoir les enfants (1987) is considered one of the best Drama,War movie in India and around the world.

In 1944, upper class boy Julien Quentin and his brother François travel to Catholic boarding school in the countryside after vacations. Julien is a leader and good student and when the new student Jean Bonnet arrives in the school, they have friction in their relationship. However, Julien learns to respect Jean and discovers that he is Jewish and the priests are hiding him from the Nazis. They become best friends and Julien keeps the secret. When the priest Jean discovers that the servant Joseph is stealing supplies from the school to sell in the black market, he fires the youth. Sooner the Gestapo arrives at school to investigate the students and the priests that run and work in the boarding school.


Au revoir les enfants (1987) Reviews

  • Lived-in feeling gives sad film great depth


    The movie was a project close to Louis Malle's heart (he was in tears when the film premiered at a film festival in 1987) and it shows in the multi-layered treatment he gives the central setting, this fascinating boarding school with its broad cast of characters. Because there are so many different strands and affecting moments tangential to the central plot, one is not entirely prepared for the finale even if you are expecting it. French film is characteristically digressive, often to a fault, but here it works to splendid advantage. It also lends itself to repeat viewings. I don't think you need to have lived in occupied Europe to appreciate this wonderful film; it speaks to all of us who have lived through childhood's quickly-passing parade and know its lifelong regrets. That last image of the stone wall is emblazoned in many consciousnesses, as it is in mine. There are many interesting choices Malle makes in this film. For example, while the central subject is the Holocaust, nearly all the Germans we actually see in the film are fairly decent if nonetheless menacing types. The real villains here are almost entirely French collaborators, which was done I think to call attention to collaboration during a period when the French were dealing with the Klaus Barbie trial. [Barbie was a Gestapo officer who was aided in his work rooting out Resistance leaders by many French collaborators.] But casting French people as the heavies also suggests the central evil of prejudice and oppression is not something exclusive to one nationality, and it broadens the scope of the movie. The tender treatment Malle affords the Catholic hierarchy in the movie is unusual, too, when you see other more anti-clerical Malle efforts like "Murmur of the Heart." There is an unexpected sense of spirituality throughout this film, somewhat muted but there all the same. This may well stand as the cinematic masterpiece of a man who, at his best (see also "Atlantic City" and "My Dinner With Andre") was to motion pictures what his countrymen Zola and Hugo were to novels: An artist who filled his canvas with the verve and breadth of human life.

  • Au Revoir, Louis Malle.


    Au Revoir, Les Enfants (1987) **** What is this film? Is it just a deeply moving, real film? Is it something more - an exorcism of sorts? Louis Malle's 1987 masterpiece 'Au Revoir, Les Enfants' has had much said about it due to its personal nature for Malle. When the movie played at Telluride, Malle cried, tears streaming down his cheeks. I knew the first time i saw the film that it was autobiographical, so perhaps this helped make the film affect me a little more strongly. Whatever the case, Malle has created a heart breaking work of genius. In a Catholic boarding school during the Nazi occupation of France, Julien Quietin, played by Gaspard Manesse as the character based around Malle, is no ordinary student. He is intelligent and different from the others. The school is also no ordinary boarding school- it has a secret. A new student arrives at the school one day, Jean Bonnet (Raphael Fejtö) and becomes a sort of intellectual rival to Julien. After some early hostilities the boys begin to connect, and eventually become good friends. Malle does not rely on overly dramatic sequences where not necessary as a way to build up the plot. Instead he shows us the monotonous daily routines of life at the school: prayers, mass, classes, music and exercise classes, and even air-raids. Eventually, Julien comes to realize that his new friend is a Jew. He is too young to really understand what the big deal is. What is the problem with Jews he later asks? During parents visitation, Julien takes Jean along with his family as Jean has not seen his father in two years, or heard from his mother in months. While at the restaurant, French collaborators come in and begin harassing a long time customer because he is Jewish in a 'No-Jews-allowed' restaurant. Things seem like they are about to explode for the young boys but to their, and our, surprise the collaborators are thrown out by some German soldiers who are eating at the next table over. We see the fear in Jean's eyes every time the Germans come near, and in one intimately close instance after the boys had been lost in the woods and stumbled upon a road and unrealizingly flag down a car driven by Nazi soldiers, Jean's turn to actions as he attempts to run away only to be caught. The soldiers do not realize that Jean is a Jew, or that the priest has been hiding Jews at his school. After all, why would they? They drive the boys back to the school. These scenes work like magic on screen. The actions and words are hauntingly real and often naive. One day the Gestapo arrives looking for a Jean Kippelstein, and in a moment of unconscious reaction, Julien unwittingly outs his friend. The Jewish students are rounded up, and the priest, Father Jean, is taken away with them and the school is now to be closed. Louis Malle has said that he wanted to make this film a long time ago, but could not find the strength. The film is not a direct parallel to the real events, but perhaps more a parallel to Malle's memories and guilt about the incidence. The end result on film is a stunningly beautiful and incredibly touching portrait of friendship, guilt, frustration and anger and I'm sure it worked wonders for Malle as an exorcism of his past. Sometimes there are moments we almost don't realize take place, and often they can be some of the most important in our lives, and 'Au Revoir, Les Enfants' is a haunting testament to how these moments can change your life, for better or for worse. 4/4

  • Best french movie, highly recommended


    "Goodbye children" is to director Louis Malle what "The Pianist" has been to Roman Polanski. These are movies that dealt with intimate matters related to painful childhood experiences, both taking place in occupied Europe during WW2. In both cases, it is palpable that they were movies that these directors had planned to make for a long time, but they waited until they had achieved a considerable degree of recognition at the end of their careers, so that they would feel self assured enough to carry their project out. "Goodbye children" evolves around two essential guidelines : the first one is the historical background of France during WW2. The second one is about childhood friendship and loss. There are quite a lot of movies that were set in France during WW2, but the matter of collaboration of the French with the Germans was still a sensitive subject in 1987. A decade before, Louis Malle had made a film called "Lacombe Lucien", portraying a young French peasant entering the Gestapo as a way of social promotion, and it caused quite a controversy. Things had quietened a bit though, when "Goodbye children" came out, and most of the people who had lived through the period as children seemed to be pleasantly reminded of childhood memories, as the boarding school and its characters appears to be a very good reflection of reality. Ugly as it has been, collaboration was nothing else as a survival policy. In war time and or/dictatorship, people rarely afford to have moral dilemmas, and this is well shown in the movie as a thriving black market goes on among children at the boarding school. The character of Joseph, an illiterate limping cook, is the one who gets blamed when the black market scandal breaks out, and loses his job. He is also the one who is going to sell out everybody, by revenge. He betrays because he feels betrayed. When one has seen "Lacombe Lucien", it impossible not to make a link between the two characters. "Goodbye children" is also a very good study of the division among French people at the time. When an old Jewish man is arrested at the restaurant by the French "milice" (political police under the Vichy regime), there is as much applause as protest. What comes as a surprise is the positive role played by the church, impersonated here by Father Jean, who is in fact a resistant hiding Jewish children and holds provocative sermons during mass. There definitely existed such priests, and it is all the more surprising to get that portrayal from a left-wing director like Louis Malle. The plot evolves around two very different young boys. One, Julien, comes from a typical French upper-class family, he is both gifted and spoiled. The other, Jean, is the typical Jewish boy, brilliant but secretive. Of course, no one among the college boys knows that Jewish kids are hiding there under false identities. Julien is at first both irritated and intrigued by this odd rival, but as they confront, they gradually become implicit allies. Their bonding is well illustrated by a few scenes, for example when they get lost together in the woods, or when they play piano during a bomb alert. As it can be expected from twelve year old boys, they only scantly express an attachment which becomes all the more real. The very fact that a film about child friendship is done by a director who is past fifty is a revealer of its very importance in a whole lifetime. Julien only realizes the price of it when Jean is arrested by the Gestapo, and waves discreetly as he walks out the college door, never to be seen again. The final shot of Julien's disarrayed face, which appears chillingly mature for the first time, is a very powerful one. But well, Louis Malle was not an amateur. "Goodbye children" is also a major film about loss, and it gets all the more effective in doing so that it ends abruptly, leaving you with a feeling of irreversibility. You never quite know how long you are going to know someone, how long you still will be there, you are rarely quite aware when you see someone for the last time. It is only when people are gone forever that you can realize how meaningful they were to you. If you are studying French or interested in French culture, this is really a movie which, as a Frenchman myself, I would recommend because it is both excellent, accessible and representative. Unsurprisingly, it received several Cesars, including the one of the best film of the year (Cesars are our French equivalent of Oscars).

  • touching film; probably based on an actual event


    This is a very moving film, most likely based on an actual event. The Carmelite priest,Lucien Bunel (1900-1945, "Pere Jacques") was founder and director of the Petit College d'Avon, near Fontainebleau. He was arrested on Jan. 15, 1994, accused of hiding 3 Jewish boys among his students, and was deported to the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp. He died in Linz, Austria on June 2, 1945. Malle's film depicts the intense trauma of Jewish children who were separated from their families and forced to take on a new identity in hiding, always afraid of being found out. They also faced the dilemma of how to maintain their Jewishness in the setting of a Catholic school. So, not just another war movie, this film depicts some of the real struggles facing hidden children, many of whom were saved by courageous Christians in Europe.

  • Stunning Work of Art


    In this spellbinding film, Louis Malle is able to evoke the fear and sadness some children suffer while away from home at a boarding school, the loneliness. Yet he doesn't dwell on sentimentality but only skims it, instead peppering the scenes with the bravura and faux assertiveness of adolescents. Malle and the actors adroitly juggle circumstances and emotions. Ultimately, they capture a terrifying time in history through the eyes and uncertainty of boys who aren't as grown-up as they'd like to think. The two main characters, Julien Quentin and Jean Bonnet, are beautifully portrayed by two very capable and talented young actors. The supporting cast is equally impressive. The film is directed with a touch of genius, and holds its own when compared to another motion picture masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.


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