The Last Mitterrand details
|Starring:||Jalil Lespert, Michel Bouquet, Anne Cantineau, Philippe Fretun|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
The Last Mitterrand
|Run time:||1 hour 51 minutes|
|Rental release:||13 Feb 2006|
Most helpful review
The Question RemainsBy micjon from London, England , 20 Feb 2006
[Highly rated reviewer]Mitterand's political career spanned 50 years. He ruled France longer than anyone since Napoleon III and retired to mixed notices but without bloodshed. He cemented the post-war Franco-German alliance, was intrigued by Margaret Thatcher, stood alongside Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the Channel Tunnel and pushed the Communists into the margins of the French left.
We find him enjoying the last days of power in the company of a young journalist who is writing his last testament. Both parts are well played, Mitterand outstandingly so. The plot revolves around their cat-and-mouse game and the young man's personal frustrations, which Mitterand enjoys hearing about.
The key question soon emerges. What was the truth of Mitterand's involvement with Petain's Vichy regime which collaborated with Hitler, sent French Jews to the concentration camps and waited in vain for a British defeat? Did Mitterand, who held a Vichy decoration, join the Resistance as an act of patriotic courage or calculated expediency? Everything rests on the precise timing of his transferred loyalty but the evidence is contradictory. Mitterand's examiner persists and comes close to a formula he thinks the old man might accept on his death bed, only to be told to 'run along'. The question remains.
Mitterand is portrayed in the final stages of his illness, still mobile, mentally alert and counting the days he has set to reach his target before stoically dying of prostate cancer. He scoffs gently at the illusions of youth, refuses to enlighten his interrogator and muses on the secrets of a country that keeps them well. Flying above the French countryside, he ponders its dominant colour. It is, he declares, gray - a colour that offers for him all the variations anyone can want. Watch this film and decide if you agree.
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Crafty old foxBy a customer from London , 01 Dec 2008This film did give us some insights into one of the major French politicians of the 20th century. And interesting to set the film as the compiling of his memoires with a jounalist whose story provides an absorbing back-drop. sometimes the art of impersonation, good though it is here, is not enough to permit us to suspend our disbelief. The film also pre-supposes a knowledge of French politics/history and left me adrift from the narrative at some points.
Very, very FrenchBy a customer from Barrow-in-Furness , 29 Jul 2008A left-wing journalist has reluctantly agreed to write a biography of Francois Mitterand. We follow his interviews with Mitterand during the last months of his presidency, and of his life. The big question appears to be how soon and how sincerely did Mitterand commit himself to the Resistance and was there any taint of collaboration with the Vichy regime? Mitterand in the film appears something of an enigma; he too blows hot and cold over the project, and at times appears to be entering his second childhood. Woven into this are scenes from the journalists own life. It took some patience to stick with this, but it was worth watching. I would have appreciated it more if I'd been a little better informed about 20th century French history.
Absorbing and touchingBy Noseyjoe (167 reviews) from London , 23 Apr 2008A surprisingly accessible portrait of the long-serving French prime minister, playful to the end, occasionally mischevious, sometimes downright cruel. No previous knowledge of French politics required, except perhaps the country's ambivalent relationship with the Vichy period, the wartime puppet government that seemed to taint everyone in some way, Mitterand included. Nice political parallels in the young biographer's own life, in a 1980s France that is just beginning to break out of a socialist straitjacket. No startling revelations but a lot of insight along the way, and nice performances all round
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fascinatingBy H. D from UK , 02 Apr 2008A fascinating glimpse into the life of a famous politician.The acting (by Bouquet especially ,in the title role )was superb.The man was so human,so kindly,so intelligent;and his end so sad and premature.The shots of Paris and the French landscape were as lovely as you'd expect.I shall definitely rent this DVD again after a decent interval.
very French!By a customer from Southampton , 24 Mar 2008Very French film, in that it doesn't tie up all the loose ends at the end of the film! My son said 'so did he die or what?!' of course we know the answer, but there are a lot of unanswered questions from the film and to be honest apart from Mitterand's illness and last days in office, not much is revealed of his life. At the same time, whilst the film was in progress I enjoyed it. On a side note, it's a good film for those learning French, as it's spoken relatively clearly with not much slang!