10am - 12.05pm9Gem
A drama set in an Italian prisoner of war camp during World War II, where a group of British soldiers find their plans for escape thwarted by a mysterious traitor in their midst.
WAR | UK | ENGLISH | 1959
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Richard Todd, Richard Attenborough, Bernard Lee, Michael Wilding
The war they tried to ignore!
L'ennemi intime (Intimate Enemies) is a raw picture looking at French conscripts during the Algeria War. It was a war that was fought for 8 years between 1954-1962, it was also a war that France failed to even acknowledged had existed until over three decades later. Pic picks up the thread in 1959 and the focal point is the relationship between Lieutenant Terrien (BenoÃ®t Magimel) and Sergent Dougnac (Albert Dupontel). The former is the new guy, idealistic, while the latter is the grizzled and battled scarred veteran.
The Barbarian Hordes.
With the French locked in battle against the Algerian rebels, the film runs the protagonists through the psychological mangler. The horrors of war are born out, with both sides of the conflict depicted with a barbarity that's harrowing in nature. As the pic progresses you can see Terrien being worn down by what he observes, the key being he is losing his idealistic heart. Moral dilemmas are deftly inserted into the screenplay, but disappointingly the political thrum that was driving the conflict is given short shrift.
From an action stand point director and co-writer Florent-Emilio Siri strikes hard, with two particular sequences - one a field of fleeing soldiers and the finale involving air-strikes - outstanding in construction. Siri also knows when to tighten the emotional noose, bringing to us poignant scenes that leave a lump in the throat. Giovanni Fiore Coltellacci's cinematography is also to be applauded, muted colours mingle with stark framing compositions to really give the sense of realism that the screenplay demands and deserves.
Aside from the lack of political basis (we need to know more about this war), the only other real problems with the piece is the conventionality, and that it inevitably is filled with war film stereotypes. However, this is very good film making and the makers bring the story to vivid life, always remaining fascinating and certainly unforgettable. 8/10