Saturday, May 26, 2012

La bataille du rail (1946)

No matter what kind of job you have, you can always give contribution to your country; I think that's what this movie wants to say. I had wanted to watch this movie for along time because I love director René Clément's works, but the DVD price had never been on discount. Last week I found that this was shown on TV, but I found it too late and only watched it about 15 minutes. So last night I stayed up until 2 a.m. to watch while it's being re-shown. The Battle of the Rails tells about French railroad workers vs Nazi Germans during the occupation. They do anything to create problems for the Germans: send false reports, bomb railroad, ambush trains, prevent trains to leave France, sabotage, etc.

When I saw parts of it last week, I thought it was a war movie in a light tone. Like in a scene when a German officer shouted to a railroad worker to get a crane, the worker shouted back. Compare this to Amon Goeth in Schindler's List. Amon Goeth is so easy to shot people and for him, life of people - other than Germans - doesn't count. No one dare to shout at Amon Goeth. However, when I watched the Battle of the Rails last night in whole, I saw that the movie had at least 2 haunting moments: 1) when the Germans lined up the sabotageurs and shot them all one by one, and 2) when the Resistance tried to overcome the weapon train. The battle was so heavy. There was this French man who had been shot and tried to crawl over the creek to save himself, he could safely reach the woods, only to be flatten by a tank.

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