"Les vies les plus belles sont celles qu'on s'invente", (the most beautiful lives are those we invent) announces an older Albert Dehousse at the beginning of the film. The inserts of actual documentary footage remind us that none of the events in the fictional narrative are in any way unlikely – indeed they were commonplace. A Self Made Hero (French: Un héros très discret) is a 1996 French film directed by Jacques Audiard. Un héros très discret did respectable business at the French box-office and attracted a good deal of criticism because of its story and its view of French history of the 1940s. French power was organised from the spa town of Baden Baden. At the press conference for Un héros très discret the reporter compared the appearance of Kassovitz as being like “a sighting of Elvis”. These writers were effectively trying to understand their own past and their relationship to parents who themselves may have collaborated – this theme of understanding parents is clearly taken up in Un héros très discret. If you haven’t seen the film, please note that there are extensive SPOILERS throughout the notes.
Re-titled A Self Made Hero, the film was eventually released in the UK in April 1997. Most recently, how would we feel to be young Bosnians or Serbs in the aftermath of civil war? His contacts and apparent experience result in his being sent to occupied Germany as a military observer. Against a background of deep mistrust and ambivalence, our hero-to-be is introduced to us. In Germany and Italy, there was defeat to be faced. Il est condamné... pour bigamie, Yvette s'étant entre-temps manifestée, avant de devenir la meilleure amie de Servane. He is jailed for a short period of time on an unrelated charge following which he is rehabilitated to become an international political success. in The Fifth Element for Luc Besson. What would be a comparable film in the UK?
Woven into this story is what appears to be a documentary made recently in which various witnesses comment on the Albert Dehousse they knew. Q: Does it not bother you that the character Albert weaves an entire tapestry of lies to create himself anew? And were you generalising about the French character? Most countries were clear about the problem. His return established the Fifth Republic, which many commentators saw as a conscious attempt to restore French pride and national identity. I did try to comment on your blog entry on the film, but for some reason none of my attempts to comment have been successful. To enter into a society without having the will or courage to be a hero? It is no coincidence that the debate around Ophuls’ film came after the death of de Gaulle – the film was not aired on French television until 1981. 4:05. A common theme in these stories is the role of anti-semitism in French society and the extent to which this is part of the experience of collaboration/resistance. Vichy France gave the impression of being ‘neutral’ and provided the perfect location for romantic stories such as that presented in the famous film Casablanca, set in French Morocco. I might use this with my AS film students in June when they begin looking at world cinema for the first time. Charles de Gaulle (the war hero, who rather like Churchill in Britain had not been involved in the immediate post-war government) re-appeared in 1958 at a time of crisis over rebellion in France’s North African territories. The Captain is openly gay and we can legitimately ask if his easy relationship with Albert is one of adoptive father to a young man who had never known his own father, or of an experienced lover with a novice. Un héros très discret (1996) Plot. At various points in the plot, Albert uses a suggested Jewish identity to help his deceit – a neat reversal of the occasions when ‘real’ Jews must have done the opposite to escape attention from the Gestapo. But the issue of the myth surrounding the period of resistance and collaboration is still live and sensitive (note here the references to the ‘exposure’ of Mitterand’s past in the Cannes reports) and many audiences in France will have resisted ‘detachment’ and taken the film as parable. Throughout the period of occupation, a resistance movement was active in France and during the liberation, resistance fighters fought openly against German forces and ‘collaborators’. Louis Malle returned to the subject in 1987 with a film based on his own memories of Jewish children being deported from France, Au Revoir les enfants. Un héros très discret opened on eleven London and selected provincial screens on April 4 1997. Research the idea of the postmodern and explain how A Self Made Hero measures up as a postmodern text. In the smaller countries which had been occupied it was more problematic. The French audience for the film was around 400,000 admissions – a French box-office of around $2 million, the American box office was $120,000 and in the UK, £266,000. The history outlined above suggests that the current generation of French parents might have themselves grown up in the 1950s and 1960s, believing a myth about resistance. Un héros très discret est un film français réalisé par Jacques Audiard sorti en 1996, d'après le roman homonyme de Jean-François Deniau. Anyone else having problems? What do you think the film says about ‘national memory’ – in this case the French memory of resistance? It administered the whole of France, although in the occupied zone, only with German agreement. There is a discourse of fakery in the film. His name is Albert Dehousse. Known as the Maginot Line, this was expected to act as a major deterrent to any German advance.
In the first, littérature engagée, she sees writers compelled to show commitment to left-wing politics and implicitly to the resistance struggle. Rachel Edwards in this book describes the dominant forms of literature after the war as falling into distinct periods or trends. But a Gump digest of the US is a very different thing from what Albert is in Un héros très discret. In what ways might these debates have an impact on the relations between young people and their parents? The mock documentary interviews suggest that Albert eventually created a whole career in public life, despite being found out – the establishment will allow uncomfortable events to be forgotten. 4. But he was very interesting, and nobody figured out how he had accomplished this enormous leap into heroism until much, much later. It is Audiard’s most accessible film – have you had a chance to see ‘A Prophet’ yet, would love to hear your take on it? It’s true that I tried to avoid anything that would incite nostalgia for the past – those golden years after the war when we bathed in our ideas of our own heroism. It tells the story of a man who ‘re-invents’ himself, generating a new identity as a resistance hero during the Liberation of France in 1944-5 and it can be seen as a gentle, but effective, satire on the national self-delusion about the experience of occupation and resistance. Les années passant, Albert continuera d'être... un héros très discret. I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds And you must remember that after the war, with records and government in such chaos, it was necessary for many people – whether they were in hiding or had somehow lost their identity – to declare an identity, providing they had two witnesses who would confirm the story. L'affaire est étouffée. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! He is an anonymous young man who discovers that his mother As a possible comparison, the successful ‘historical’ film by the well-known British director Ken Loach, Land and Freedom, had a much smaller budget and despite a very good reception, a smaller UK box office. These revelations are referenced in Un héros très discret, through the use of the ‘documentary’ inserts which suggest that the Albert Dehousse character, despite being ‘found out’ could still go on to achieve high political office. The three comprise an African-French boxer and his two friends, one a ‘beur’ (second-generation Arab-French) and the other Jewish. The story is told mainly in the present tense and also in retrospective interview clips including several by the protagonist many years later. Thème Du Héros by tinfoilunicorn.
In turn, this will perhaps have been part of that generation’s sense of national pride – certainly in evidence in French government policy in the 1960s and early 1970s. These are real narrative pleasures. By 1996 it was over fifty years since the war in Europe had ended – yet it was still possible to generate debate about what happened during the war and how social and cultural life changed after the war ended. I saw ‘A Self-Made Hero’ a few weeks back for the first time on DVD and I would agree, it is one of the key French films of the 90s. As the director of Un héros très discret, Jacques Audiard said: “… overnight [in 1944] we were no longer the defeated, we were the conquerors, we were no longer collaborators, we were Resistance fighters …”. A Self Made Hero (French: Un héros très discret) is a 1996 French film directed by Jacques Audiard. How would you describe the narrative of A Self Made Hero in terms of its resolution? But they do prompt us to think about issues in particular ways. The film works on several levels. He simply tried to create a life he never lived. 2. In fact, when Land and Freedom was released in France it opened in more cinemas than had been possible in the UK.
The main challenge here is to create a situation where the criteria of truth are lost – one by one. Set in France at the end of World War II Albert Dehousse finds out his father wasn't a war hero and his mother is a collaborator. Albert is a seemingly naive character and we know that his motives are, if not pure, at least inoffensive and non-exploitative. Is it ‘open’ or ‘closed? In the 1950s a group of right-wing writers was then seen to refuse political engagement and to create novels around heroes who had been collaborators or at best indifferent to the politics of occupation. The de Gaulle administration was recognised by the Allies as the true French government and was installed in Paris as such by October 1944. Mathieu Kassovitz made his name internationally as the director of one of the most important youth pictures of recent times, La Haine, in 1995. Kassovitz is a well-known figure in terms of his Jewishness and this period of French history has aroused fierce debates about the treatment of Jews under the Vichy regime. This film set out to follow the adventures of three youths from the suburban housing projects in the 24 hours following a riot in which one of their friends is shot by the police. Un héros très discret may not be a polar as such, but its thematic of the ‘outsider’ helped by older and wiser father figures places it neatly next to Un prophète.