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Au Revoir les Enfants (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (Version française)
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This intensely personal film from LOUIS MALLE (The Lovers, My Dinner with André) tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss concerning two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie—until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Malle’s own childhood, Au revoir les enfants (Goodbye, Children) is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • Restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Renato Berta, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • Video interviews with biographer Pierre Billard and actress Candice Bergen, director Louis Malle’s widow • Joseph: A Character Study, a profile of the provocative character from Au revoir les enfants • The Immigrant, Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 short comedy, featured in the film • Audio excerpts from a 1988 AFI interview with Malle • Original theatrical trailer and teaser • PLUS: A book featuring essays by film critic Philip Kemp and historian Francis J. Murphy
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Top Customer Reviews
This film is based on an event in director/writer Louis Malle's childhood, one that obviously haunted him decades later. It is a war movie for people who hate war movies, focusing on the ups and downs and youthful hijinks of boys at school, until the sudden and shocking conclusion. The boys who play Julien and Bonnet are both naturals and give sincere, touching performances. The war era is faithfully reproduced and it feels like a movie made in the forties, instead of 1987. In French with subtitles. Heartily recommended.
Directed by Louis Malle
Starring Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö and Francine Racette
Criterion | 1987 | 104 min | Rated PG | Released Mar 15, 2011
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
French: LPCM Mono
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Au revoir les Enfants is a semi-autobiographical story from director Louis Malle who was born in 1932 and lived through many of the events depicted on the screen. Because it's based on the truth, it has added meaning for the viewer. It's about school, friendship, racism and regret.
The story begins with a 15-year-old boy, Julien Quentin (Manesse), leaving his mother and taking the train to a Catholic boarding school. The school is run by monks and all of the students are boys. It's set in the 1940s during the German occupation of France. A new boy, Jean Bonnet (Fejtö), takes the bed next to Quentin.
Most of the students tease Bonnet and make his life a misery. As you have probably experienced, this is typical treatment for a new student in any school. In addition to the teasing, he finds that the water is cold, baths have to be taken in the local town, and air raids disrupt the lessons. Bonnet's life becomes more tolerable when a monk tells Quentin to befriend him without explaining why. After a while, Bonnet's ability in a wide range of school subjects such as music, math and French, earns Quentin's respect. The two become friends.
The portrayal of school life is realistic and reminds me somewhat of The 400 Blows. It gradually becomes clear that Bonnet has a secret. He claims to be a protestant and mentions that his father is a prisoner.Read more ›