Primary Menu

L’armée du crime

Hors Compétition
L'armée du crime

Film : Français
Genre : Historique
Durée : 2h05min
Date de sortie : 16 Septembre 2009
Avec : Simon Abkarian, Virginie Ledoyen, Robinson Stévenin
Réalisation : Robert Guédiguian

Dans Paris occupé par les allemands, l’ouvrier poète Missak Manouchian prend la tête d’un groupe de très jeunes juifs, Hongrois, Polonais, Roumains, Espagnols, Italiens, Arméniens, déterminés à combattre pour libérer la France qu’ils aiment, celle des Droits de l’Homme. Ces immigrés, morts pour la France, entrent dans la légende.

(L'avis exprimé par les rédacteurs de cette rubrique est indépendant du travail et des choix du Jury oecuménique.)

A film about the French Resistance, centred principally on Paris and its surroundings. It begins with a long list of names of people who are declared to have died for France.
While the scope of the film is large and runs for well over two hours, the focus is principally on three groups. Simon Akbarian portrays an Armenian intellectual exile who lost his family in the Turkish genocide. (Guedigian is of Armenian origins and stresses Hitler’s words of 1936 : ’who remembers the Armenians ?’.) A second family runs a restaurant and the son, insulted at school and angry, is ripe for the Resistance. A third family sees the father disappear, the mother confined to home. The older son (Robinson Stevenin) is a champion swimmer under a less Jewish name and is protective of his fourteen year old brother. He is also trigger happy and begins to shoot German soldiers in the street.
Once the Resistance is organised, with the Armenian in charge of the local group, acts of sabotage proliferate. German officials and the press brand the perpetrators as terrorist Jews, Communists and immigrants.
It is inevitable that they will all be caught and executed. However, the dynamic of the film is to see them planning, in action, squabbling amongst themselves concerning tactics. Very striking is the liason between the swimmer’s girlfriend and an ingratiating, ambitious policeman who begins an affair, showers her with gifts and gleans information from her. As the drama goes on, the personal stories become more telling enabling the audience to respond emotionally to the arrests, the graphic torture and the grief in persecution and scapegoating.