A Bag of Marbles
This heartwarming adaptation of Joseph Joffo’s enduring memoir tells the story of the Nazi occupation through the eyes of two young Jewish boys struggling to survive on their own. Paris, 1941: Joseph and Maurice are the sons of Roman, the local barber. At 10 and 12, the boys have so little understanding of the persecution of Jews that Joseph thinks nothing of swapping his yellow star for a bag of marbles. Despite their naiveté, Roman knows that their best chance to escape the Nazi roundup is to flee on their own to Vichy France, where their older brothers Albert and Henri have found safe haven. Always one false move from tragedy, these tenacious urchins survive on courage, ingenuity and more than a bit of cunning as they make their precarious way through France hoping to reunite with their family. More than anything, it’s their brotherly bond that gets them through their ordeals. Patrick Bruel resonates as the Jewish family patriarch Roman, while newcomers Dorian Le Clech and Batyste Fleurial register an almost agonizing vulnerability as hapless innocents trying to outrun the barbarous machinery of war.