The Sorrow and the Pity

Directed by Marcel Ophüls
Year: 1969
Country: France, Switzerland, West Germany
Language: French w/ English subtitles

From its first release at an underground theater in Paris, this account of France's occupation under Nazi regime has been acclaimed as one of the most moving and influential films ever made. Director Marcel Ophüls interviewed the residents of Clermont-Ferrand who remembered the occupation, as well as government officials, writers, farmers, artists, and German veterans. Here, in their own words, is the story of how ordinary citizens and leaders alike behaved under military siege. Originally refused by French TV, the film garnered international success and acclaim – including an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary – while shattering the myth of an undivided and universally resistant France under the Vichy government. A triumph of on-the-ground filmmaking, THE SORROW AND THE PITY remains gripping, appalling, and exhilarating for its transparent view upon humanity.

“A work of history that changed the course of history... its impact is exemplified in the opposition that it faced and ultimately overcame.”

“In its complexity, its humanity, its refusal to find easy solutions, one of the greatest documentaries ever made.”

“So boldly conceived, richly textured and beautifully paced that its marathon running time feels more like a sprint.”

“Changed the face of the documentary forever.”

Alexis and Louise Grave
Pierre Mendès-France
Sir Anthony Eden
Georges Bidault

Directed by Marcel Ophüls