Director: Christian Duguay
Genre: Narrative Feature
Country: France, Canada, Czech Republic
Running Time: 110 min
Language: French and German with English subtitles
Sponsored by: Lynne and Harold Honickman
Based on the acclaimed memoir of Joseph Joffo, Christian Duguay’s A BAG OF MARBLES is a riveting remake of a 1975 film by Jacques Doillon. Like last season’s Audience Award winner, Fanny’s Journey, the story of the Joffo family’s astonishing escape from Nazi-occupied France is mainly told from the point of view of its young heroes, Joe (impeccably played by Dorian Le Clech), and his older brother, Maurice (Batyste Fleurial). Convinced that dividing up the family to escape an imminent round-up would increase their chance of survival, Anna (Elsa Zylberstein) and Roman (Patrick Bruel) send their youngest sons out into the Paris night, alone, to make the difficult journey to the “Free Zone” in Southern France. Caught in the whirlwind of war with only each other to depend on, the young brothers make their way toward freedom.
In Duguay’s retelling of the story, the audience is not spared from witnessing the humiliation and brutality that these youngsters experienced in order to survive. Although you may need to bring along some tissues for this one, with its fair share of levity and humor, A BAG OF MARBLES is hands down one of the most powerful, unforgettable stories you’ll see depicted on screen this year.
For Fans of: Adventure films, coming-of-age films, foreign cinema, French cinema, Patrick Bruel, Un sac de billes (original film and book), WWII cinema
Official Selection: Toronto Jewish Film Festival
Reviews: “An engaging personal story set during the Holocaust…engrossing and well-acted…it’s one of the best movies told about the Holocaust from a child’s point of view in a long time.” (Hannah Brown, The Jerusalem Post)