Top positive review
An absolute classic
9 January 2017
Every so often a film comes along that has to be put on one’s list of films that should be compulsory viewing for everyone. In my view, Suite Française vies with Joyeux Noël for best anti-war film. Unlike all those post-WWII films churned out in the 1960s with their black-and-white morality that made all Germans evil Nazis, Suite Française seemingly achieves the impossible by being authored during the Occupation by a Jewish woman who manages to sympathetically portray forbidden love between a Frenchwoman and a young German officer who find themselves caught up in a situation of moral ambiguity. The author was subsequently deported and died in Auschwitz.
How ironic that she was killed by the very people for whom she managed to feel such extraordinary empathy. Yet how appropriate that this healing story did not emerge until sixty years later, when finally it had become possible to entertain the idea of the moral ambiguity of WWII. The contradictions in this poignant love story make the film compelling viewing. The wonderful cast, superb acting, cinematography, realism, careful choice of sets, costumes, attention to detail and immediacy of the story, as well as the brooding atmosphere, all combine to make this film an absolute classic that can be watched many times over.