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The title of the film is perfect. There is a sense that the war is over and life will return to some kind of normalcy, perhaps even be better. Yet there is also an uneasiness. While there is a slight toleration of Jews in France in 1946, everyone knows it will not last. The only guarantee of any happiness will be in the community the group forms, and somehow we know it will happen.
The film is enjoyable because of its delightful characters, and in some ways it is a film that could be called more a character sketch than a story. It gives the viewer a glimpse of life that in 1946 is all but forgotten and reminds us of both the scars that were a part of the aftermath of World War II and also the faint hope that was real as well.
Set in 1946 in Paris, the owner of a tailoring business seeks out Jews who have either returned from the camps or have been in hiding, or were part of the Resistance, who by luck escaped the fate of so many others, or were outcast otherwise during the horrors of WW II and offers them employment and emotional support. These are healthy people physically: emotionally the damage is deep and requires tender nurturing to start the road to health. The story unfolds slowly and allows us to witness the means by which each of these victims help each other heal and regain self confidence and learn to live in a world without the fear of extermination. The movement of the story is one of emerging trust and the director and actors each bring to the concept a fine sense of history and of the manner in which fellowman can coexist with a little help from their friends.
The cast is uniformly excellent and the atmospheric cinematography by Andre Diot is stunningly beautiful and reminiscent of the post war France period. The musical score is solely dependent on string quartets and matches the intimacy of the message of the film. In French with English subtitles. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, July 06
Albert, who is a character in the movie, was the tailing shop owner. When he was in a concentration camp, he mentioned that he would make a plan of how he would work out his tailoring. After the Holocaust, not only did he re-open his shop, but he also kept the people over there working effortlessly. Albert bought a painting from Madame Sarah only because he wanted to show his future generations what it was like back in the Holocaust. Albert and his wife Lea sent their two children to summer camps so they could lead a normal life as well.
A second example from the movie is the character Leon. He has a wife, Jacqueline, and she is pregnant with their second child. This shows that they are also moving on in their lives. Leon jokes around all the time with everyone at the tailor shop and is a great actor as well. Leon had lost many of his family members in the Holocaust and now he has the desire to have a big family. For example, when Jacqueline gives birth to their second child, Leon gets excited about his family photo (with future generations).
The third character that is trying to rekindle his capacity for happiness is Maurice. He is a very lonely man who seeks a prostitute, named Simone, to fill his sexual desires. Maurice goes to only her each time and this shows that he is looking for comfort and the warmth to get rid of his loneliness. As the movie goes on, Maurice becomes more open to Simone. For example, he took her to a coffee shop and he told her about his past life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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In post World War II Europe, Europeans strived to live after the devastations of war. Many had lost their jobs, homes, and family members, making life after the war quite... Read morePublished on April 28, 2008 by Nazia Jannat
This film is one of the greats among French film ,but so peaceful and so devoid of concentration wrecking 'think this way' intrusive music that one can miss the greatness in the... Read morePublished on March 16, 2008 by Socrates
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