A representation of Occupied France through the diaries of Ernst Jünger, German military commandant in Paris, One Man's War brings World War II into focus not with the lying lens of the deadpan documentary, but through a series of highly original techniques which gain all the more brilliance by their obliqueness. The diaries are not accompanied by pictures representing the events Jünger describes, but by contemporary newsreels, and by painstakingly chosen music which challenges words, images and their assumptions. The effect is to produce a moving, gripping document which raises profound questions about the war, and indeed all wars: the interaction of individuals and events; the definitions of propaganda and collaboration; and the weakness of ideologies in the face of gigantic forces equipped with their own superhuman logic. Jünger's beliefs, a strange mix of futurism and Junker chivalry, start by imposing a bizarre, philosophical unity on the film, but they end in dissolution. A genuine tour de force.
Cast and crew