The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)

Original Title: Le chagrin et la pitié

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Documentary, History, War & Military, Made in Europe, Drama
4h 11min
Age rating


Anthony Eden
(also archive footage) (as Lord Avon)
Pierre Mendès France
Himself - Former Prime Minister of France
Emmanuel d'Astier de La Vigerie
Himself - Founder of the Liberation Movement
Marcel Ophüls
Himself - Interviewer
André Harris
Himself - Interviewer


From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.

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