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Un village français (2009)
Beautiful handling of delicate subject matter
Un village français explores the intricacies and horrors of living under German occupation during WWII. The writers deal with the delicate issues of collaboration and resistance beautifully, without judgement or criticism, which made me think about how I may have behaved/reacted in the villagers situation.
The writers were very wise to make a TV series rather than a film or mini-series as it just wouldn't be possible to get a genuine feel for the occupation in a couple of hours. I recently watched Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (2013) and found that 270 minutes was just not long enough to really understand the German experience of WWII, and left me with more questions.
It is so nice and refreshing to see a French spoken series about French people, instead of British series about French people! (e.g Maigret with Michael Gambon or Monsignor Renard with John Thaw). I really hope this series get the international acclaim it deserves! 10/10 from me.
Suite Française (2014)
Decent, but not outstanding
Considering this was written by a French writer of Ukrainian-Jewish origin (Irène Némirovsky, 1903-1942), I find it deeply irritating that the French villagers all speak non-accented British. Now this seems to be the norm with many British-made TV series (e.g Maigret with Michael Gambon or Monsignor Renard with John Thaw), but I am surprised to see it in a major motion picture. Would it really be that difficult to hire French actors for these parts? I feel it takes so much away from the authenticity of the movie/mini-series/TV series. I was grateful that the German soldiers spoke German (thank heavens for small mercies!), and really don't mind reading subtitles. Now this movie reminded me of the mini-series Island at War (2004) and has some of the same faces. However, in Island at War, the German soldiers were British actors with (poor) German accents, which again detracted substantially from the authenticity.
I cannot fault the acting, they all did an outstanding job, I just feel this type of story has been told so many times before and it did not offer me anything new.
Nancy Wake (1987)
Amazing story, very well told in this 1987 miniseries
First of all, Noni Hazlehurst did an outstanding job in this miniseries! Secondly, I am very surprised to see no other reviews here, considering this is such an amazing story. It tells the true story of a very brave Australian woman who worked alongside the French resistance as part of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) against the Nazis during WW2. Nancy Wake became known as the White Mouse by the Gestapo and was at the top of their most wanted list. She once rode a bicycle 250 miles in 72 hours on a round trip through German-held territory to collect a radio in order to request supplies from the British for the resistance.
After the war, she was awarded several medals for her distinguished service, and continued to work for British intelligence after the war.
I thoroughly enjoyed this miniseries and highly recommend it to those interested in anything WW2. 9/10 from me.