Au Revoir Les Enfants tells a heartbreaking story of friendship and devastating loss between two boys living in Nazi-occupied France. At a provincial Catholic boarding school, the precocious youths enjoy true camaraderie-until a secret is revealed. Based on events from writer-director Malle's own childhood, the film is a subtle, precisely observed tale of courage, cowardice, and tragic awakening.
Gaspard Manesse (Julien Quentin); Raphael Fejtö (Jean Bonnet / Jean Kippelstein); Francine Racette (Mme Quentin); Stanislas Carré de Malberg (François Quentin - as Stanislas Carré De Malberg); Philippe Morier-Genoud (Père Jean); François Berléand (Père Michel); François Négret (Joseph) Peter Fitz (Muller); Pascal Rivet (Boulanger); Benoît Henriet (Ciron); Richard Leboeuf (Sagard; Xavier Legrand (Babinot); Arnaud Henriet (Negus); Jean-Sébastien Chauvin (Laviron); Luc Etienne (Moreau - as Luc Étienne). Please contact SFC to add other cast members and characters.
Important: the following essays and comments are authored by Soul Food Cinema readers. Whilst the Editor prays for the spiritual integrity of all content of this site, it should be noted that these represent personal opinions and carry no official endorsement. If you consider any content to be a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, please contact SFC. May God bless you and enlighten you in your reading.
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Heartfelt - and true.
Mark Banks (United Kingdom)
I watched Au Revoir Les Enfants some time before I came back into the Catholic Church, and interestingly enough, though I remember the film striking a chord with me, the fact it was set in a Catholic boarding school appeared to have totally passed me by when I reflected back upon it. To me it was more a heartfelt film of courage, cowardice and the human condition. Yet those qualities are surely the attributes that any good film tackling such a subject should possess; it shouldn't be about preaching on behalf of the Catholic Church; for the faithful it should work to re-affirm the faith, for those that don't believe it should bring them something of the truth in a way that cannot be denied. The latter I believe this film did for me, and perhaps in some way took me one small step closer to discovering the truth as embodied in the Catholic Church - albeit in an indirect way.