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World War One: Regenerations

La Grande Illusion

Jean Renoir’s celebration of comradeship and human decency in the face of the military machine.

Image from La Grande Illusion

France 1937
Dir Jean Renoir
With Jean Gabin, Erich von Stroheim, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay
113min
Digital
English subtitles
Certificate U

Norman Angell’s 1909 book The Great Illusion posited that the cost of war between industrialised countries was so great that no one would start a war that would be so devastating to their nation. A cult hit, it formed the basis for one of the world’s great film classics. Renoir’s film is a celebration of comradeship and human decency in the face of nationalism and the military machine.


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