Les violons du bal

Michel Drach's autobiographical feature is a look back at his experiences as the young son of a Jewish family during the German occupation of France. The film is centered on his mother, a beautiful, intelligent, courageous, and well-dressed superwoman (played by Drach's wife, Marie-Jose Nat) who leads the family's flight to freedom. The subject forces you to take the film seriously, even though every other aspect of it is horribly botched: the situations are unspeakably trite, the actors absurdly overdirected, and the whole project has the shimmering, glamorous look of a Chanel commercial. With Nathalie Roussel and Jean-Louis Trintignant (1974).

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