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· AVANT LE DELUGE
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Teddy Award 2005
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Berlinale

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Wed, Feb 15

AVANT LE DELUGE

deutsch>>
After studying the intricacies of justice in JUSTICE IS DONE [JUSTICE EST FAITE, Frankreich 1950] and capital punishment in WE ARE ALL MURDERERS [NOUS SOMMES TOUS DES ASSASSINS/SIAMO TUTTI ASSASSINI, Frankreich/Italien 1952], André Cayatte, ex-lawyer, now turns his searching camera on adolescent delinquency and parental responsibility. Result is a jolting social yarn which covers too much territory and has a tendency to preach to the detriment of the drama. It forces its hand in fitting everything into its legal, pamphlet-like plea. It will do well on word-of-mouth here. For the U.S., this would be need special handling for arty situations, but doesn’t shape big because of its downbeat theme. The banding together of five adolescents, who decide to flee Paris to a safe desert isle after being driven to panic over fear of a new war (this is in 1950) and lack of love and comfort from their selfish parents. They find they need money to get away and decide to rob lover of one boy’s mother. But a night policeman comes along, and he is accidentally shot and killed. Two of the boys in terror slay the young Jewish boy who they think will talk. Another boy confesses after a suicide attempt, and they are put on trial. Film uses a flashback technique at the trial as the bereft parents all question themselves, and begin to realize their guilt. Cayatte has held this literary-type film together and generated many scenes of intense feeling. Lensing and editing is top in keeping this complicated story
 
 
AVANT LE DELUGE (Film Still)

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Screenings at the festival
Wed, Feb 15, 12:00 CinemaxX 8 (D)
Sat, Feb 18, 14:00 Zeughauskino (D)

always intelligible. Marina Vlady lends a lovely face as the girl in the gang. Youths are all well played, with Roger Coggio as the young Jewish boy a standout. Jacques Fayet, Clément Thierry and Jacques Chabassol all do well. Adults are also finely played with Bernard Blier moving and bewildered as the father of a daughter he no longer understands. Much of the excess haranguing, such as the professor’s countless arguments with his son on Communism, possibly can be sheared away to make this more palatable for special U.S. situations.

(Mosk. (Gene Moskowitz) in: Variety (Hollywood), 7.4.1954.)
 
 

3-point concepts cine plus maxwell smart