This French drama set in July 1942 in occupied Paris depicts several Jewish families that are attempting to peacefully go about their business during a difficult time. Slowly their rights are eroded leaving them with few places to go and little chance of employment. They continue to live as best they can until, inevitably, the German forces come for them.
This true story of one of the darkest times in France’s history makes for difficult viewing. It focuses on the children and how, in spite of everything, they continue to want to be typical children, running around playing games even while under armed guard.
Jean Reno (Leon) features as a Doctor struggling to cope in the huge stadium that serves as a temporary detention centre and Melanie Laurent (Inglorious Basterds) is Annette, the nurse helping him.
As the detainees are shipped from place to place the film wisely avoids the death camps that are the group’s final destination. Instead concentrating on events leading to the final journey taken by over 13,000 people, including over 4,000 children. The disgraceful actions of the French police in these events are also covered.
Not since The Pianist has a World War II film moved me as much. This is a film that anyone with even a passing interest in the war will find utterly compelling.
The round Up is available on DVD in the UK from 18th July 2011.
Ric’s Rating: 77%