August 25th, 2011: Army of Shadows

Cast and Crew:  Jean-Pierre Cassel, Simone Signoret, Paul Meurisse

What It’s About: The activities of the French Resistance, the risks and the penalty for being caught, as seen through a character study of one of their members Philippe Gerbier (Lino Ventura).

Why Watch it Today?: Paris was liberated today in 1944, in no small part due to the men who resisted the German occupation.  Army of Shadows avoids the clichés of many films about the French Resistance and actions behind German lines by giving us an idea of what it was like to risk everything to belong to the organization.  Director Jean-Pierre Melville’s attention to detail and ability to build suspense without big action sequences or explosions makes this film very different from other World War Two films  you’ve seen before.

Where to Get It:  Netflix or Amazon

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