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ô€‚ƒ6 - ° Comradeship respect for one’s...

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° Themes o What separates people from one another? o Social class o Language ° Note the scene where Gabin takes a tremendous risk to try to inform an English prisoner of the tunnel they’ve made – but he can’t communicate, due to the language barrier o Barriers and boundaries ° The barriers and cultural traditions that separate one nation from another may have the same stupid arbitrariness that the physical geographical lines between countries have ° Note what the camera does in the scene where the French soldiers stand up to sing their national anthem ° Pay attention to the complexity in the balance of character, with French soldiers who sometimes seem greedy or petty, and German soldiers who are sometimes very kind o Historical transition ° The class balance of the world is shifting – the upper classes are becoming less important, less powerful
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Unformatted text preview: ° Comradeship, respect for one’s enemy, respect for people of other nationalities ° Think about the title of the film – what are the grand illusions that it wants to remind us of? • Two of the characters spend the winter sheltered by a German widow o They become very close – unbelievably so ° One of the soldiers has a love affair with the widow – he claims he will come back, but this is very difficult to believe ° The two soldiers become like fathers to the widow’s daughter o If you think about it, this seems like a grand illusion ° It seems like an illusion of comradeship and the crossing of barriers and boundaries • This film is made on the eve of the second World War o It exposes the fallacy of believing that the first World War was the “war to end wars” • Film itself is a grand illusion – it isn’t real...
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