Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Le corbeau

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The atmosphere in a small French town is poisoned by anonymous letters, whose evil denunciations are directed at almost all of the citizens and, above all, at Dr. Germain, who is accused of committing adultery and performing abortions. It is certainly true that he secretly meets the wife of his superior, and then starts a relationship with a crippled woman; in the end, Dr. Germain has to admit to making false statements about his identity. Could he be “Le Corbeau”, the Raven (as the anonymous author calls himself), who is now the victim of a witch hunt? With its “Clair-obscure” scenery, adopted from German expressionist cinema, Le Corbeau also casts light on a moral ambiguity: “You think people are all good or all bad. That Good is light and Evil is dark. But where does each begin?” The film, produced under the German occupation by the Ufa-branch Continental, was banned in Germany. Heavily attacked by Catholics and Communists, Henri-Georges Clouzot was initially prohibited from working after the Liberation in 1944. It was only after Sartre and Cocteau spoke out in his favour that the early “chef d’oeuvre” of French film noir was rehabilitated in 1947 of French film noir, produced under the German occupation.

France 1943, 93 min

by

Henri-Georges Clouzot

with

Pierre Fresnay
Ginette Leclerc
Micheline Francey
Pierre Larquey