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This edition: J'Accuse





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Episode Details

(France, 1919, Silent with subtitles, b&w, Drama|Horror|War)
Director/Writer: Abel Gance
Stars: Romuald Joube, Maxime Desjardins, Severin-Mars
J'Accuse, Abel Gance's extraordinary breakthrough work, is a World War I 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, Francois (Severin-Mars), but is actually in love with a young poet, Jean Diaz (Romuald Joube). Both Jean and Francois 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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