La Rafle

115 minutes 2012

This French historical drama (2010) depicts the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, in which French police, under Nazi orders, imprisoned more than 13,000 Jews, the majority of whom wound up in Auschwitz. For reasons that are hopefully obvious, films about the Holocaust inevitably find themselves in thorny thematic territory. Director Rose Bosch's intentions seem genuine, but her dramatizations frequently undermine the horrific real-life events on which they're based. Although this isn't as cloying as The Intouchables (2011), another recent French export with a simplistic view of a complex topic (in that case, race relations), the film revels in a similar sense of self-satisfaction, proud of its soap opera histrionics even as it pays lip service to mankind's greatest failure. In French with subtitles. With Jean Reno, Melanie Laurent, and Gad Elmaleh.

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La Rafle

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