DE GAULLE (2020)

  • Biography, History, WWII
  • 1h 58m

Available for rental: Monday, June 21 @ Noon PDT → Thursday, June 24 @ Noon PDT

PLEASE NOTE THAT FOR THIS FILM YOU WILL NEED TO ACTIVATE THE SUBTITLES BY CLICKING ON “CC” ON THE BOTTOM RIGHT OF YOUR SCREEN AND SELECTING “ENGLISH”.

Join our Zoom Discussion with Le Professeur Kevin Elstob, on Tuesday, June 22 @ 6:30pm PDT.**
If you purchase the film or the Virtual Festival Pass, you will receive the Zoom invitation. Questions about the discussion? Email kelstob@csus.edu.

Suggested short film pairing: A World Without Crisis

In May 1940, France is losing ground against the German army. Charles de Gaulle (Lambert Wilson, The Odyssey – SFFF 2017) is a newly appointed General and member of President Paul Reynaud’s cabinet. There he faces the defeatists, led by World War I hero Maréchal Philippe Pétain, who are eager to negotiate an armistice with Hitler. De Gaulle, who thinks the war can still be won and that Hitler cannot be trusted, continues fighting to save France. He heads to England to convince Winston Churchill (Tim Hudson) to back his cause.

Meanwhile, de Gaulle’s wife and unwavering supporter, Yvonne (Isabelle Carré), remains in their country house with their children — including their youngest daughter, Anne, who has Down’s syndrome.

Soon, alongside thousands of French families, Yvonne and the children are forced to flee the advancing German troops. When Yvonne and Charles lose contact with one another, the question arises: will the de Gaulle family pay the ultimate price for his cause?

Torn between his love of country and his obligations as a military officer — the Vichy regime will sentence him to prison and strip him of his military ranks for deserting his command— the General eventually finds his stride in the famous “Appel du 18 juin” (Appeal of June 18), the decisive speech calling for French resistance that he gave on BBC radio. de Gaulle will become available to watch a few days after the 81st anniversary of this historical and unprecedented radio appeal.

De Gaulle is far from a formatted biopic. It mixes the portrait of an outstanding public man who changed the course of World War II and French history, with that of a private man, loving husband, and father. We discover an extraordinary couple who, by facing private and public hardships, found the strength and will to stand up.

Almost a companion piece to the film Darkest Hour, which chronicled pivotal days in Winston Churchill’s tenure as prime minister during World War II, De Gaulle depicts a similarly fraught period in which Charles de Gaulle faced off with others in the French government concerning the future of his country. And just as Gary Oldman did for Churchill, Lambert Wilson fully embodies de Gaulle to present both the strength and vulnerability of a man under extreme pressure.

Not Rated (all audiences).

Reviews

A great movie for a great actor: Lambert Wilson.
Pascal Jaubert — BIBA

An ambitious biopic directed like a political thriller and sparing a real dramatic tension.
Gwénola Trouillard — Télé Loisirs

If Churchill inspired many biopics, de Gaulle was intimidating. Therefore, this is an event!
Voici

Language(s)

French, English

Subtitle(s)

English