One of the first French films to address the issue of collaboration during the German Occupation, Louis Malle’s brave and controversial Lacombe, Lucien traces a young peasant’s journey from potential Resistance member to Gestapo recruit.
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it's amazing how the subtext is so clear from the very beginning. of course i'm aware of the space between a movie like elephant and this one, still, while watching it, i felt that they were hitting the same nail in the head: to make you aware of what happens beyond the dialogue. amazing, a look into the nazi french collaborationists. aurore clément is so beautiful, her fragility...
Very perceptive about what happens to people during wars/occupations. They change, weak and strong alike. They misplace their own nations. It even happened in the U.S. during the Bush years, and we weren't subjected to what France was during WW2. The hero is a thug-baby yet given to remarkable innocence and candor; he falls in love with a girl whose childhood has been stolen too. History fucks them both.
Une oeuvre qui défraya la critique de l'époque (il ne faut pas toucher en France à la période Résistance/ Collaboration, sans éveiller des blessures / meurtrissures inavouables) qui analyse avec réalisme l'ambiguïté de l'engagement de certains Français dans un camp ou l'autre, quelquefois tardif...
A complicated look at how a young man becomes a collaborator. There are no easy answers, only Lucien's blank eyes and amoral character. Spurned by the resistance, he joins the Nazis. He doesn't really believe in anything. He simply grasps for power and control wherever he can find it.
This is not about France during WW2 occupation or "Vichy Regime" or "Collaboration" or "Resistance". It is simply about a 17 y/o foolish village-boy. He, all of a sudden & by chance, discovers for himslef lifestyle & power. It is about how he handles the temptations coming up. Louis Malle doesn't explain anything about the character. What is the problem with the boy? Dialogues non-existent. A bit boring in between.
What strikes me in Malle’s Lacombe, Lucien is the simultaneous portrayal of two radically different worlds: that of an occupied France, lacerated by the phenomenon of the collaboration, and that to which Lucien belongs, a mysterious reality of blankness and selfishness, totally free of moral guilt. Sinisterly, the film shows the point in which the two converge. An incredibly fascinating effort. Recommended.