Released in France as La Kermesse Heroique, Carnival in Flanders is set during the long-ago war between the Dutch and Spanish. A tiny village in Flanders is invaded by Spanish troops. The townsfolk have heard of Spanish cruelties in other towns, and decide to deflect the vanquishers by playing dead. This isn't terribly effective (you have to take a breath once in a while), so the wife of the burgomaster tries to soften up the invaders with a lavish carnival. So successful is this venture that the Spaniards allow the village to escape being decimated, or even taxed. An award-winner many times over, Carnival in Flanders was banned in Germany; evidently, Goebbels caught on that director Jacques Feyder and scenarists Bernard Zimmer and Charles Spaak were drawing deliberate parallels between the Spanish and the then-burgeoning Nazis.
by Hal Erickson synopsis