Submitted by Julio M
Oscar Nominee – Best Foreign Language Film
Lucien (Pierre Blaise), despite his fierce and successful collaboration with the Gestapo, finds himself falling for France (Aurore Clément), the young daughter of Albert (Holger Löwenadler), the Jewish tailor who made him the fancy suit suggested by his superiors; soon, they begin a somewhat reluctant relationship -he still had misgivings about the position in which he was and France’s Jewish background; she saw this relationship as a safe passage from the ongoing Nazi persecution-. Meanwhile, Lucien is warned that his actions could, one day, get him condemned as a traitor and even killed.
By 1944, things take a turn for the worse. Albert wants to discuss with Lucien his relationship with France but the head of the local Gestapo collaborators turns the man over to the Nazis. An attack from the Resistance proves fatal for the town as, in retribution, the whole population is rounded up and any Jews discovered are to be arrested and marked for deportation to camps; among these, France’s family. When Lucien and a Gestapo soldier arrive to take France and her grandmother Bella (Therese Giehse), Lucien, suddenly reluctant to lose his love, kills the soldier and flees with the two women.
They try to get to Spain by vehicle, as Bella had long wanted; however, their escape vehicle breaks down and they must continue on foot until they find a secluded country house, where they hide until the eventual defeat and surrender of the Nazis.
The final scene shows Lucien and France, together by a small body of water, while title cards inform that, in October 1944, Lucien was arrested by the Resistance, tried for treason and sentenced to death.