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168 Ratings

La France

Directed by Serge Bozon
France, 2007
Drama, Musical, Comedy
  • French
  • English


In 1917, during the darkest days of the Great War, Camille (Sylvie Testud) receives an alarming letter from her soldier husband. Disguising herself as a man, she sets off to try and find him. She falls in with a band of deserters who spontaneously perform original pop songs on homemade instruments.

Our take

The proudly idiosyncratic critic-turned-director Serge Bozon broke the rules & got raves with this intoxicating, original tour de force, blending the war film with a brightly-colored musical (!). Starring Gallic it-girl Sylvie Testud & winner of the prestigious Prix Jean Vigo for best French debut.

La France Directed by Serge Bozon
While soldiers singing together is nothing unusual, the musical sequences here are strikingly strange: when the men take out their quaintly handmade instruments, they launch into songs (written for the movie by Fugu and Benjamin Esdraffo, with lyrics by the director) in the jaunty mode of 1960s Sunshine Pop, which are not only jarringly anachronistic but out of key with the melancholy, somber mood of the film.
July 24, 2018
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These lost soldiers are perhaps the most delicate souls to don uniforms and carry guns in movie history. They are united in a profound state of loneliness, which they express in a series of unexpected 60s-style pop tunes. The musical numbers are totally anachronistic, but they fit the film’s lyrical mood and lift it well beyond the realm of realism.
November 11, 2015
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Amid this stark, deadly landscape, the musical numbers come as a surprise. They’re quaint, rambling affairs, with the soldiers using whatever instruments they have on hand to create sudden bursts of crudely beautiful folk-pop songs, which double as an assertion of raw humanity in the midst of a world gone mad.
October 28, 2015
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