January 17, 2009 2:00:01 am
Cast: Diane Kruger,Benno Furman,Guillaume Canet,Gary Lewis,Dany Boon,Daniel Bruhl
Director: Christian Carion
War does not determine who is right – only who is left. Bertrand Russell
At the end of World War I,the first global war,which really didnt solve anything,was a figure of 40 million people dead. What remains forgotten is a Christmas Eve in the beginning of that conflict,1914,when soldiers laid down their arms for a few brief hours for informal ceasefires at many places.
Merry Christmas captures one such battlefront in France,where French,German and Scot soldiers called a truce that night and discovered that,when they exchanged their photos,drinks and stories,they really were no different at all.
They all come together to hear an opera singer and a tenor hum Silent Night in German,with bagpipes and mouth organs,and to listen to a priest give the Lords Message.
To them,that night,with candles twinkling on a few Christmas trees sent by Kaiser Wilhelm to the border,thats the most natural thing in the world. Its war thats incomprehensible.
Is it possible for them to war on after that? Their superiors think not,and they are punished by all three respective governments in their own way. Is it possible for the war to go on despite all this? It did,for four long years.
Merry Christmas was a 2005 release,and was nominated the same year for the Oscars in the best Foreign Language Film category (French). However,perhaps there never is a wrong time for a film that underlines all that unites us at a time when all seems to separate us. This time certainly isnt.
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