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The Eye of Vichy (1993)

Cast: Michel Bouquet, Michel Bouquet
Director: Claude Chabrol, Claude Chabrol
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: First Run Features
Genre: Documentary, Foreign, France, Military
Running Time: 110 min.
Languages: English
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Produced by French New Wave founder Claude Chabrol, The Eye of Vichy is an extraordinary 110-minute account of Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The film, narrated by Brian Cox, documents the pro-Nazi sentiments of Marshall Petain's Vichy regime and its efforts to spread propaganda against both the Allied Forces and the Jews. Authentic newsreels, advertisements, and feature-film footage produced by the Nazis and their collaborators make the documentary chillingly real. The black-and-white production contains English subtitles and commentary. ~ Kathleen Wildasin, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Occupied France, via Its Own Media by talltale July 29, 2005 - 7:50 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Claude Chabrol's documentary THE EYE OF VICHY--compiled over a decade ago--has lost none of its timeliness. The whole point of this film is the way the French media handled the occupation (in those days, from a visual perspective, it was mostly via newsreels). Back in 1993, Mr. Chabrol may not have imagined in his wildest dreams that his film would provide a primer to how much of America's media under our current administration is turning lies into truth and day into night, but I am sure he appreciates this fact now.

That said, the documentary will be of most interest to those who know French history. But it is full of fascinating bits (the cartoon using many of our own favorite animated characters to turn us into the villains, the film about Jewish "family life") that have not lost their power to shock. Sad as it may be to realize, the majority in an occupied country always become collaborators because the alternative is usually death. And for most of us, some part of our DNA is set to "survive at any cost"--a fact this film shows us, in spades.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.14)
21 Votes
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