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La Rafle

Dramatizing the French collaborationist government’s 1942 Vel’ d’Hiv roundup of thousands of Jews, filmmaker Rose Bosch’s wartime soap opera aims to simultaneously diminish and enlarge a historical tragedy. Actors portraying Hitler and Pétain provide some larger context, even as the film focuses on the stories of a defiant Jewish communist (Gad Elmaleh), a doctor (Jean Reno) and a selfless gentile nurse (Mélanie Laurent). But while La Rafle attempts to add elements of harsh, unblinking reality to its narrative twists (an old woman treated roughly, kids digging in a shit-filled latrine for hidden money), the movie succeeds in generating only mild outrage, tempered by impeccable tastefulness and the safe distance of time.

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Release details

Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

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