Tuesday, 12 January 2010

La Chambre des Officiers (2001)

There's just something about the French, they really do make spectacularly beautiful films. The Offficer's Ward had wonderful cinematography but more importantly a poignant narrative. That's right, 'poignant', if America tried to tackle the same issues you can bet it would be sentimental, self-indulgent, self-congratulatory, patriotic, embarrassing shit.
This film covered all you'd expect from a story about a young man disfigured at the very beginning of the first world war, but it did it naturally. Nothing was ever discussed obviously in front of the camera no "issues" were "tackled" by "talking about it" (how American). His coming to terms with his disfigurment and guilt was slow and private and ultimately extremely realistic and moving.
I like war films that show the human sacrifice and the horrendous human waste, but I like them to be beautiful and romantic like poetry and this one was.

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