Au revoir les enfants-Louis Malle
Towards the end of an illustrious career, Malle produced what many consider to be his masterpiece. The film recalls an event that marked Malle's childhood and which he thought about every day; like many schools in France during the occupation, fugitive Jewish students were taken in and sheltered from Vichy government backed organisations, whether it be the police or the rapacious Milice.
The partially autobiographical account is seen through the eyes of young Julien who witnesses the arrival of a mysterious group of new students in the dormitory. The period over which the film takes place is a voyage of discovery for Julien as he gradually befriends Jean Bonnet. The film takes its time as it allows the pressures of daily existence to reveal themselves; interestingly we feel the tension between the head of the school and the children's parents many of whom are doing well out of the war, a metaphorical reflection of the state of France at this time. We see privations, the lack of food, the cold and the fear in which people are living surrounded by the occupying forces.
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Contents of the unit
Linguascope copy master book (Glover 2010)
Detailed gapped summary of the film
Character profile guide (translation to and from French
Direct/Indirect speech activity
A factor-present participle, passive, subjunctive
Multiple tense guide (Tensinator)
Essay planning tool with sample essay