The film does endorse the “official” version of the resistance as conducted by General De Gaulle, in whose army Melville had after all served, but its moral strength lies elsewhere. Namely in its resolute sobriety, its anti-spectacular epic that consistently frames the resistance against fascism as an act of conscience, far from stainless, and yet inevitable. Shadows, not heroes, are the protagonists of a film that never exalt them—predestined interpreters they are of a fate they did not choose.
Celluloid Liberation Front
May 02, 2017