The Sorrow and the Pity

Chronicle of a French City under the Occupation

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The Sorrow and the Pity
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.
4 h 11 min
Release Date
18 September 1969
Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Jacques Duclos, Anthony Eden, Pierre Mendès France, Emmanuel d'Astier de La Vigerie, Maurice Chevalier, Marcel Ophüls, André Harris
Documentary, History, War