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The Sorrow and the Pity [DVD]

Georges Bidault , Matthäus Bleibinger , Marcel Ophüls    Exempt   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: £12.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Sorrow and the Pity [DVD] + Shoah (4 Disc Set & 184 Page Book Special Edition Box Set) [DVD] [1985] + Night And Fog [DVD] [1955]
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Product details

  • Actors: Georges Bidault, Matthäus Bleibinger, Charles Braun, Maurice Buckmaster, Emile Coulaudon
  • Directors: Marcel Ophüls
  • Writers: Marcel Ophüls, André Harris
  • Producers: Alain de Sedouy, André Harris
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 249 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002BAXBO4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,708 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Hailed as one of the most moving and influential films of our time, this Oscar nominated documentary by director Marcel Ophuls has continued to garner international acclaim since its release in 1969.

An epic account of the occupation of small French industrial city Clermont-Ferrand by the Germans in World War 2, Ophuls combines interviews along with archive footage to explore the reality of occupation. Speaking to Resistance fighters, collaborators, spies, farmers, government officials, writers, artists and veterans, it is perhaps the most gripping and inspiring portrait of how ordinary people actually conducted themselves under extraordinary circumstances.

Product Description

Sorrow And The Pity

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
198 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 18 July 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A film that inspired so many other directors and often referred to as one of the great films of all time, Le chagrin et la pitié, to use the film's French title, was made for French television in 1968 by Marcel Ophüls but the broadcasters refused to show it, so disturbing were the contents thought to be. Ultimately it received a limited release, mainly being shown in "art house" cinemas where it's reputation spread. The film was eventually broadcast on French television in 1981.
This masterpiece, running at over 4 hours and divided into two parts dealing with the occupation of France and the choices made by the French people during the occupation, is a time capsule. Consisting mainly of interviews, interspersed with archive footage, the film was made when the participants - French, German and British - were still alive and the memory of the events still fresh in their minds. Their stories - the collaboration and the resistance, the attitudes and perspectives of real people - render this period of French history together into a profound and thought provoking film that will give all who see it pause for thought. Historical amnesia benefits no one.
The subtitled film is divided into two clear halves conveniently split over 2 DVDs. This edition includes an interview conducted in 2004 with the director.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sorrow and the Pity 11 Jan 2010
By harpman
Stunning, illuminating and completely compelling documentary of WW2 France. Repeated viewings do not detract from the impact made by the retrospective accounts gleaned from often very ordinary people who found themselves in totally extraordinary situations. From the modest, matter of fact but 'hard as nails' farm labourers who fought with the Resistance to the landed gentry and castle owner who elected to serve not with the Resistance but astonishingly as a founder member of the SS French Division. This seminal film brilliantly captures a polarised French society in the late 1960's struggling to come to terms with it's recent history, its courage and strengths but also with the deceipts, acquiescence, and frailties of many of its citizens. I do not find that the subtitles detract from this moving experience. Simply, my favourite film of all time and I will continue to watch it again and again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorrow Plus Pity make Masterpiece 19 Jun 2010
Ophuls examination of the fall of France in 1940 and life under the Nazis for the next five years will leave a lasting impression on your mind 'He marries archive film with later interviews over the whole range of participants from collaborators to resistance fighters. This marrying together of archive and interview is brilliantly done and far superior to the ghastly historical reconstructions that TV often goes in for. Although the film deals with France its impact is universal in that it shows the height and depths to which mankind can reach.At the same time it is always entertaining, its emotional impact is greater than most dramas.Not to be missed it truly is one of the all time documentary greats
nd interview
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great subject...shame about the subtitles 8 Jan 2008
By tc61
If you are a native English speaker with only a rudimentary knowledge of French as I have, you will struggle with this film. This version was made for English speakers as the subtitles are only when the French or Germans are speaking. But, for some reason, the subtitles drop off or malfunction about 25% of the time. This leaves a very frustrated viewer as entire subjects can be left hanging.
The subject matter is excellent though some of the interviews are a bit drawn out. Very artistic filming of those being interviewed which helps make the four hours interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The sorrow and the pity 4 Feb 2013
By David Rowland TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This totally compelling and absorbing account of the resistance (and otherwise) of the French people under Nazi occupation revealed a number of things that the majority of people living in France would prefer not to be revealed - that very few French people took an active part in the resistance, that the resistance were often greatly disliked because of the reprisals that were carried out by the Germans after their actions and that most French people stayed well clear of the resistance and tried to get along with their German occupiers.

Before anyone in Britain condemns the French for this behaviour they should ask themselves this question - would things have been any different in Britain if we had been occupied by the Nazis? Remember, nobody in France or any of the occupied countries in 1940 knew if the British would ever return to the continent to liberate them and given the poor performance of the British and French armies in 1940 when they were completely outclassed by the German army it would not be surprising if most French people thought that the British would never be able to return and defeat the German army. Nobody knew if the Americans would ever enter the war and given how isolationist they were in 1940 it seemed highly doubtful. Given these facts is it surprising that most French people decided to live as best they could under occupation and try to get along with the Germans and not antagonise them.

The film which not surprisingly took a long time to be seen widely in France shows the defeat of the French army and the effect of the occupation and it concentrates on what happened in one French town.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you
Published 2 hours ago by rosie2
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 days ago by Maureen
4.0 out of 5 stars Delivered well, good film.
I first saw the film in Canada, where we actually bought a TV in order to watch it when it was first broadcast there. Even now it is a powerful reminder of human nature.
Published 4 months ago by madeleine stanford
4.0 out of 5 stars A documentary of its time
A hard watch at times due to it's length. Some really fascinating interviews shot in a way you wouldn't see in more modern documentaries. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Flink
4.0 out of 5 stars "Cinematic, conscientious and eternalized..."
German-born French-American documentary filmmaker Marcel Ophüls` documentary feature, made for television, which he co-wrote with French documentary filmmaker André... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sindri
4.0 out of 5 stars French occupation WW11.
Excellent review of the French occupation by French & Germans involved. As an oral history it is fascinating & disturbing.
Published 10 months ago by Lachlan
4.0 out of 5 stars delivered on time but my palyer wouldn't download the first disc. My...
The French owning up. So much is covered up by the French and this was banned for many years in France.
Published 15 months ago by Derek Oliver Sibthorpe
1.0 out of 5 stars The Sorrow and the Pity (DVD)
Rather than hate it, I am simply extremely disappointed that the product was grossly non-merchantable quality. Read more
Published 16 months ago by B. F. Orme
5.0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL AMBIGUITIES
Should be compulsory viewing -

a. for far right sympathisers and apologists, to shame them;

b. Read more
Published 17 months ago by D. P. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should view it
This is a DVD every person should view. Ask yourself when you view it "what would I have done?"
The DVD is about France under occupation in the Second World War, It... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Nicholas J Bates
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