A very long engagement; anti World War I film

This video is the trailer of the film A very long engagement.

From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog.

A very long engagement; anti World War I film

Date: 2/7/05 at 8:55PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

As we saw, no Oscar nominations for Michael Moore‘s Fahrenheit 9/11.

More cowardice in Hollywood: also no nominations for A Very Long Engagement.

A film by the makers of well known Amélie, with its star Audrey Tautou.

However, probably in Hollywood they thought: “a French, sorry … “freedom” film (like French letters in King George’s kingdom are “freedom letters” etc.).

An anti war film; well, anti World War I, about ninety years ago, but still … it shows soldiers killed by their “own side” authorities …

So, “Let’s stay on our knees for Washington DC.”

One of the points of this poignant film is that ordinary French and German people had no reason to hate each other; the warmongers on both sides were the problem.

Many people might think a prostitute and murderess (the character “Tina Lombardi” in this film) is a very bad person indeed.

Well, in this film it turns out: not if compared to warmongers, who are far, far worse.

As the lead character Mathilde (Audrey Tautou‘s role) finds out: after a personal meeting she would never repeat her earlier reference to Tina as “that whore”.

Dadaism against World War I: here.

Christmas 1914 soldiers’ truce: here.

Wozzeck, opera on World War I by Alban Berg: here.

French film maker Jean Renoir: here.

14 thoughts on “A very long engagement; anti World War I film

  1. RE: anti World War I in Australia
    Posted by:

    Date: 05/01/05 at 3:49 PM

    ANZAC Day (among other things) celebrates the Australian invasion of Turkey

    Dave Riley

    With the increasingly strident nationalism that greets ANZAC Day each year, it is easy to forget what the ANZAC tradition celebates. In almost nine months of entrenched fighting on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula, Australian and New Zealand casualties reached 8587 killed in action and 19,367 wounded in the line of duty. Those Turks were defending their homeland from invasion.

    Where so many died invading we now call “sacred ground”.

    When the British Empire (which included the ANZACs) and French forces finally withdrew from the Gallipoli peninsula, they had suffered 44,000 deaths. At least 85,000 Turkish soldiers died during the campaign.

    That was in 1915. The same year, ANZAC forces suffered massive losses of 28,000 killed or wounded during the first seven weeks of the Battle of the Somme. So it comes as no surprise that during the following year Australians rejected conscription at a federal referendum — with troops in the front line trenches strongly voting “No” . Another referendum the following year rejected conscription by an even larger margin.

    So I am a proud Aussie, not because this country has a penchant to celebrate the slaughter of those who we sent to invade or defeat, or the deaths of those this country sent to do such deeds. I am a proud Aussie because, in the face of such slaughter, a massive campaign was organised in this country against strengthening that war through conscription — and it won!

    You have to see past the jingoistic bullshit on Anzac Day. You can’t afford to forget, that’s true, all those who died. But for whom did they die? Not for me.

    If conscription had prevailed many more would have died. That’s really what’s worth celebrating.

    Lest we forget.

    From Green Left Weekly, May 4, 2005.


  2. Pourquoi Sarkozy devait attendre que Lazare Ponticelli soit mort


    Lundi, Nicolas Sarkozy rendra officiellement hommage à Lazare Ponticelli, dernier soldat survivant de la guerre 14 – 18. Pourquoi fallait-il attendre qu’il soit mort et ne puisse plus répondre ?

    Parce que s’il arrivait aujourd’hui en France, immigré pauvre et sans papiers, il serait reconduit à la frontière entre deux gendarmes.

    Parce que Lazare Ponticelli dénonçait l’absurdité de cette guerre que lui avaient imposée les Sarkozy de l’époque. « Tous ces jeunes tués, je ne peux pas les oublier. Quel gâchis ! » Et son camarade Louis de Cazenave, mort quelques semaines plus tôt à 110 ans, dénonçait la guerre et le patriotisme : « De la fumisterie, un moyen de faire gober n’importe quoi ! A quoi ça sert de massacrer des gens ? Rien ne peut le justifier, rien ! » Il avait refusé l’hommage proposé. (1)

    Parce qu’en effet, comme disait le grand écrivain Anatole France, « on croit mourir pour la patrie, et on meurt pour des industriels ».

    Parce que cette guerre 14 – 18 n’avait rien à voir avec la « défense de la patrie », comme disent les manuels scolaires. Les grandes puissances se battaient pour le contrôle de l’acier et du charbon (pétrole de l’époque), pour le contrôle stratégique des Balkans, pour la suprématie mondiale et la domination sur les colonies.

    Parce que les Sarkozy de l’époque ont massacré dix millions de Lazare Ponticelli pour les intérêts des Bolloré, Bouygues, Lagardère et Albert Frère de l’époque.

    Parce que le Sarkozy d’aujourd’hui s’en fout de sacrifier les Lazare Ponticelli d’aujourd’hui dans de nouvelles guerres coloniales prétendument humanitaires de la France, avec ou sans les Etats-Unis.

    Lundi, Sarkozy sera donc le champion absolu de l’hypocrisie.

    (1) Cité dans Adieu Lazare, par Michel Porcheron, Adieu Lazare


  3. A beautiful movie, wonderfully staged and with spellbinding storytelling. Though I wish my memory was a little better as it was confusing at times as to which of the five she was on the track off. Loved the Tina character – brilliant assasination technique!


  4. Hi Linda, thanks for your comment. I agree. As for “Though I wish my memory was a little better as it was confusing at times as to which of the five she was on the track of”: that is indeed a problem for film directors; how to put complex issues into an about two hour film time frame?


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