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La vérité en face (TV)



Aka: In the Face of Truth (Europe)
Director: Etienne Périer
Year: 1993
Country: France
Runtime: 90 minutes


My Rating:
IMDb
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awaiting 3 votes


Review:

Résistance hero Paul Noblet is a respected member of the community in the small French provincial town of Maurepas. He never says a word about what he did during the war, though. His family can't quite understand why, but they've learnt to respect him. On the 35th wedding anniversary of Paul and his wife Jeanne, his son-in-law insists that Paul partake in an hour of commemoration for five Résistance fighters who were shot dead. Paul's sharp rejection of this idea makes it clear to the whole family that the old man is ill-at-ease about his past. In the meantime, an elegant old lady from New York arrives in Maurepas: Madeleine Depage. She is visibly moved as she takes part in the commemoration for the five Résistance fighters. It awakens painful memories inside her, including memories of Paul, her former lover. She thus tries to contact him to arrange a meeting, but only gets through to his wife, Jeanne. Jeanne is suspicious of her former rival - but she does accept an envelope from Madeleine addressed to her husband. Although she has a strong presentiment that it will merely bring back the shadows of the past, she hands the envelope to Paul. Meanwhile, the press has taken a great interest in Madeleine's involvement with the five freedom fighters who died. As a young woman she had been condemned to death for apparently betraying all five of them. It was only her swift flight to the USA that had saved her from certain death. The press campaign makes Madeleine decide to return to her country of adoption as soon as possible, but before she leaves she decides to visit Paul at "Le Vernet", his country estate. She suffers an attack of weakness in the taxi on the way there, however, and has to be taken to hospital. She doesn't know that Paul has received her message and is on his way to see her. After missing Madeleine by a hair, Paul returns home in a state of intense agitation. When he discovers that his family is engaged in a deep discussion of Madeleine's case he finally brings himself to reveal his great secret. He discloses that, under torture, he was the one who had betrayed the names of his five comrades all those years ago. But this confession is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Madeleine, who turns up at Paul's house unexpectedly. The two former lovers now have their first conversation since the end of the war. Madeleine relates proudly how she succeeded in keeping the names of her comrades secret, despite the appalling pain of torture. Although she had a feeling Paul was guilty, she later decided to keep this to herself in front of the French court. Paul shows her the letters, filled with remorse, that he couldn't send to her after his return from Germany. As she reads them, Madeleine now understands Paul's self-reproach and the agony his silence must have caused him for the very first time. She feels a deep tenderness towards him welling up inside her - a tenderness she thought she had overcome long ago. Madeleine, who has long since forgiven Paul for what he did, is now overcome by her newly-kindled passion. But she has to face up to the fact that time has left indelible scars. Paul now belongs to someone else, and has done for many years. She returns to America alone. A new chapter in Paul's life now begins: his liberating confession has caused the weight of forty years to fall from his shoulders. - IMDb

Children's Cast:

Laura Martel [11] Isabelle
Johann Martel Charles


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