The Battle of the Rails / La bataille du rail (12)
René Clément tells of the courageous efforts by French railway workers to sabotage German troop transport trains. Divided loyalties, vigilante patriotism and sedition are all themes as relevant today as in the aftermath of war-torn Europe more than half a century ago. Bataille is framed in a structurally unique narrative – part fictitious story and part documentary – that builds into a gripping political thriller and a testament to a demoralised people. Clement’s verité style is vital and courageous filmmaking. It was shown at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival where the film won the Prix international du jury and Clément won the Best Director Award. The film also won the inaugural Prix Méliès.
Cast Jean Clarieux, Jacques Desagneaux, Charles Boyer, Fernand Rauzena
Director René Clément I 1946 I 87mins
Glasgow Film Theatre Sun 13 Nov 15:00 + Introduction by James Steel (Chairman of French Film Festival UK)
Edinburgh Filmhouse Mon 14 Nov 20:50 & Tue 15 Nov 13:00 + Introduction by Martine Pierquin (University of Edinburgh)