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also known as I Accuse

J'accuse1919

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  • 4.3
Abel Gance's extraordinary breakthrough work is a WWI drama considered to be one of the most technically advanced films of the era and the first major pacifist film. It was referred to by Gance as "a human cry against the bellicose din of armies." It stars Marise Dauvray as Edith, a woman who is unhappily married to an older man, François (Séverin-Mars), but is actually in love with a young poet, Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé). Both Jean and François end-up on the front lines of World War I while Edith is captured by German forces and suffers atrocities at the hands of the soldiers. Gance contrasts individual human suffering with the larger horrors of war (depicted with stark realism).

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1 member likes this review

Will mankind ever evolve beyond war? What good are humanity's achievements in technology and the arts when overshadowed by the perpetual lust for war? WAR! Promised to us yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternally.

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Member Reviews (7)

127953.small
top reviewer

Will mankind ever evolve beyond war? What good are humanity's achievements in technology and the arts when overshadowed by the perpetual lust for war? WAR! Promised to us yesterday, today, tomorrow, and eternally.

1 member likes this review

Previous to reading--MONSTER SHOW by David Skal I had only heard of NAPOLEON. This book describes it as having been made in 1937 and conserned an inventor who made "steel glass" that would make war impossible. I don't know if this was a remake. What was also said was he recruited members of a Union of horrible disfigured vets which may be the marchers here. It seems like quite an accomplishment for this time.

Even having a split screen and also those different tints to show dif. emotions. I guess the dead weren't able to confront the war-mongers directly--censors?

Very intense. But worth viewing if you have patience. War transforms, and only the children can revive those who are left.

J' Accuse is a silent film classic meditation on the meaning, if there was a meaning, of the sacrifices made by the men of a French village in World War One, as understood by the dead soldiers as their spirits might have understood things if they could speak from the grave, and as their families might understand the values the men gave their lives for. Were their lives thrown away for nothing? Or did they die for something worth preserving? And if so, are the people they died for worthy conservators of those values. This is a deep exploration into the tragedy of war, the value of life, the enormous costs borne by the common man in the clash of economic powers. Truly a great film.

J' accuse movie should be standard required viewing in all high schools worldwide.

I love this movie. It is gives a great vision the horrors of war and how it affects everyone it touches.

Wonderfully original story and beautiful imagery. A must watch for any cinephile.