Friday, May 18, 2012
The Sorrow and the Pity (Le chagrin et la pitié, 1969), the unrivaled documentary masterpiece by Marcel Ophüls, is infused with contempt for French citizens who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. In the film, Pierre Mendès-France nobly represents the French Resistance (second still). Christian de la Mazière (third still) provides an unabashed foil. Ophüls (top still) takes a confrontational approach with former collaborators who have chosen to forget the years 1940 to 1944. Ophüls explores the best, the mediocre, and the worst of France under Nazi occupation by centering his gaze on one city, Clermont-Ferrand.