In the predawn hours of August 25, 1944, Paris was almost obliterated. That it was not is reimagined as an all-night act of desperate diplomacy in this crackling World War II drama. Swedish consul Raoul Nordling (André Dussollier) must somehow convince German general Dietrich von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup) not to follow Hitler’s order to blow up the City of Light, even as the Allied army is poised to retake it. Based on a 2011 play and remade for the screen by Oscar- and Palme d’Or-winner Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum), this tautly written pas de deux features two actors who mesmerize us with every calculated glance. “What if an order is absurd?” Nordling challenges. Bound by duty, von Choltitz is not blind to consequences, and the impossibility of his position—for him, every choice sacrifices something vital—is unexpectedly moving. “What would you do in my shoes?” the general retorts. Nordling has no answer, and the question rings loudly today.
Avec / with :
André Dussollier, Niels Arestrup, Burghart Klaußner