Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Au Revoir Les Enfants

Julien, a spoiled 12 year old son of a french industrialist, barely notices the war in his cloistered Catholic school, until the arrival of a jewish refugee in hiding both annoys him and arouses his curiousity; as the boys become friends, Julien begins to realize the horror of the Holocaust and in a small, but honest way, his own complicity at every turn. The structure and the pacing of the story, the smallness and truth of the mise en scene and the natural gentle direction of the film invite us to slowly, but inevitably take up with these characters and ultimately recognize our own complicity in the pervasiveness of suffering.