Au Revoir Les Enfants
Screening as part of the Save Curzon Mayfair campaign.
Arguably Louis Malle’s most celebrated film, the second of his semi-autobiographical tales Au Revoir Les Enfants is a moving account of life during the Second World War. It was nominated for two Oscars and awarded the BAFTA for Best Direction.
Julien Quentin is a border at a rural Carmelite school. Life there is quiet until the arrival of three new boys. One of them, Jean Bonet (Raphaël Fejtö) is Julien’s age and they become fast friends. However, when he sees Jean praying one night Julien realises his friend is Jewish. Jean admits that his real name is Jean Kippelstein and along with the two other boys he is hiding from the Nazis. Only then does Julien see the world as it is. Malle’s extraordinary drama details the insidiousness of ideology and paranoia in occupied France. Beautifully shot, it is now regarded as a classic of French cinema.