Almost Peaceful

on August 20, 2004 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
Taking place immediately following World War II, "Almost Peaceful" is a loving, moving portrait of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust attempting to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives in Paris. Unlike most recent Holocaust films ("Schindler's List‚" "The Pianist"), which have concentrated on survivors' actual, horrific experiences during the war, "Almost Peaceful‚" based on a book by Robert Bober, is a low-key drama that never engages in graphic imagery.

Set in a tailor shop which has just been reclaimed by its owners, "Almost Peaceful" follows the business' proprietors, Albert (Simon Abkarian) and Lea (Zabou Brietman), and their employees as they rebuild their existences. One pines for family members who will never return; another finds solace in the arms of prostitutes. Others engage in their own affairs of the heart. Beautifully shot and rendered, the evocative "Almost Peaceful" follows firmly in the gentle tradition of French directors like François Truffaut ("The 400 Blows") and Louis Malle ("Au revoir les enfants"), but with a heart and spirit all its own. Starring Simon Abkarian, Zabou Breitman and Denis Podalydes. Directed by Michel Deville. Written by Michel Deville and Rosalinde Deville. Produced by Roasalinde Deville. An Empire release. Unrated. Drama. French-language; subtitled. Running time: 94 min

Tags: World War II, Judaism, Holocaust, survivors, French, foreign, Simon Abkarian, Zabou Breitman, Denis Podalydes, Michel Deville

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