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235 Ratings

Sundays and Cybele

Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray

Directed by Serge Bourguignon
France, 1962


Pierre (Hardy Krüger) is a former military pilot psychologically devastated by a wartime experience. Isolated, Pierre begins to perk up when he befriends a 12-year-old urchin (Patricia Gozzi) abandoned by her father. But problems arise when their relationship is misconstrued.

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Sundays and Cybele Directed by Serge Bourguignon

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1963 | Winner: Best Foreign Language Film

1964 | 2 nominations including: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

National Board of Review

1962 | 2 wins including: Best Foreign Language Film

Golden Globes (USA)

1963 | Winner: Samuel Goldwyn Award

Even if one can accept the idea of a romantic yet non-sexual bond between an adult and a child, as folks willingly did back in 1962, Sundays And Cybèle still indulges a noxious trope that could be called “they were just too pure for this ugly world.” In order not to be skeeved out by the movie, it’s necessary to regard Pierre… as an honorary kid, so that he and Cybèle are essentially acting out the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice?” In other words: Hooray for emotional regression!
October 08, 2014
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It is perhaps no wonder that Sundays and Cybèle sank from view, only to resurface in an era when its subject is likely to provoke unease, even as the film elicits admiration for its aesthetics and touching performances. Yet this strange, melancholy, and beautiful film deserves to be seen again, not, like Bourguignon’s subsequent films, as a curiosity, but as an original and brave attempt at putting on-screen some of the most complex and difficult human feelings.
October 01, 2014
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While Bourguignon’s filmic methods are less experimental and more hinged to narrative continuity [than the French New Wave directors], a determination remains in how the film’s central relationship between Pierre, a psychologically fragile war pilot, and Cybèle, an orphan abandoned by her father, unfolds with a sincerity that recalls the phantasmagoric desires of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast and predicts the sexual honesty of Louis Malle’s Murmur of the Heart.
September 28, 2014
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