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Au Revoir les Enfants

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by violet64, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. violet64

    violet64 New commenter

    I have been assigned the task of teaching Au Revoir les Enfants for the essay section of the Welsh Board A2 paper. I know the film well and we are presently looking at the themes of the film, watching the relevant sections of the film and discussing the significance of said segments. I am worried, however about getting the 'answers right', in particular for questions such as 'Analysez le role du Pere Jean' and other such (what seem to me at least) less obvious themes. I have bought the excellent book by Stephen Glover, have some great materials from the web which are very helpful and have the screenplay. I have searched in vain for guidance on the themes of the film - the main things to include and wonder if anyone can point me in the right direction. I suppose I want confirmation that what I am saying is on the right lines.
    Thanks
     
  2. violet64

    violet64 New commenter

    I have been assigned the task of teaching Au Revoir les Enfants for the essay section of the Welsh Board A2 paper. I know the film well and we are presently looking at the themes of the film, watching the relevant sections of the film and discussing the significance of said segments. I am worried, however about getting the 'answers right', in particular for questions such as 'Analysez le role du Pere Jean' and other such (what seem to me at least) less obvious themes. I have bought the excellent book by Stephen Glover, have some great materials from the web which are very helpful and have the screenplay. I have searched in vain for guidance on the themes of the film - the main things to include and wonder if anyone can point me in the right direction. I suppose I want confirmation that what I am saying is on the right lines.
    Thanks
     
  3. steveglover

    steveglover New commenter

    Thanks for the kind mention! I think the main themes of the film are like every other film about the occupation ;-)
    La collaboration-the milice who come looking for people avoiding STO and are checking ID in the café, Joseph who is turned when he shops the Jewish kids housed at the school
    Resistance active and passive-active - le pere Jean sheltering the Jewish boys, passive - the brother giving wrong directions to German soldiers, Julien's brother saying he wants to join the resistance
    Lack of food and how everything can be swapped (le troc) particularly for fags. The biscuits vitaminés distributed by the Vichy government to give a basic minimum of vitamins to kids.
    The (im)morality of the black market particularly heightened by the extreme attitude taken by le pere Jean (ultimately leading to disaster of course)
    Humanity versus inhumanity-Le pere Jean wishing kids to share their parcels, taking in the Jewish kids versus antisemitism of the Germans
    Antisemitism itself and the lois-anti-israélites wearing of the star, being forbidden from entering public building such as baths and restaurants (with refusal of even the Germans to be to bothered about the law when the milice kick up a fuss) and of course the removal to a camp de transit (presumably) and thence to Auschwitz
    Courage/cowardice rich parents attitudes questioned by the pere Jean, the nun who gives the nod to the Germans at the end
    Youthful exuberance overcoming all - stilt battles, scouts, fancying music teaching, reading the Arabian nights
    Petainisme-not much in this one except I remember the mother saying the prewar socialist leaders should be shot( or something like that. )
    Will that do to be going on with?
    With Louis Malle films there is always a lot of ambiguity and places where you have to make up your own mind-I particularly refer to when Julien looks round at Jean and the Gestapo guy notices and he is arrested-obviously not intentional but nevertheless cringeworthy.
    Incidentally if anyone is doing the occupation I'm working on Ils partiront dans l'ivresse the book which led to the film Lucie Aubrac by Claude Berri. Half way through doing the 260 pages of vocab and doing anything to avoid going back to it :- ) Very good book though with all the above themes and more.

     
  4. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    I would definitely recommend reading "Malle on Malle" as it gives you some very useful insights into the film, particularly the autobiographical aspects of the film and the uses of colour.
     
  5. steveglover

    steveglover New commenter

    Actually I didn't read the question properly the themes I put in are pretty obvious!
     
  6. violet64

    violet64 New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. Some extra grist to add to the mill - there are some more subtle elements you've mentioned I need to include. Will search for the Malle book as I've never officially studied film could do with some extra pointers here.
     
  7. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

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