Safe Conduct is a fact-based period drama which examines the lives of two men working for a German film company in occupied Paris during 1942 and 1943, as well as their friends, family, and loved ones. Woven from their memories, the film retraces their intersecting trajectories.
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Absolutely fabulous mise en scene. The camera work is breathtaking. For a change, a long film that passes incredibly quickly. Fantastic script and actors. Captures so fully a world turned on its head, where everyone must figure out how survive, and also how to survive with their dignity intact. "Dignity" is entirely relative as we watch a host of creative people set different thresholds for themselves.
A thrilling, big-hearted logistics-epic-- I do believe this film has more individual speaking roles than any film I've ever seen. The theme of film-making in general as heroic enterprise is confirmed by the swirling populousness of the film on view. I've watched every Tavernier film within reach since seeing this in its American distribution.
Once in awhile in cinema you're treated to a rare treat something unexpected happens and you're elevated to a better place. It can be a short animated movie or it can be Lawrence of Arabia.
Discovering this movie was a treat but it was also so much more. It was like walking into a museum and encountering a painting that captures your momentary attention and then causes you to look deeper, and DDPEr-/ transfixed.