The Heart of a Nation (1943)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama, War Drama  |   Run Time - 111 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Heart of a Nation was filmed in 1940, just after the Nazi occupation of Paris. The film traces the fortunes of the Froment family of Montmartre, from the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 to World War II. Comedy and tragedy are deftly blended throughout; Raimu's visit to the Moulin Rouge is as hilarious as Michele Morgan's loss of an arm during World War I is heartbreaking. When the Nazis became privy to the existence of Heart of a Nation, they ordered its director (Julien Duvivier) arrested and the negative destroyed. Both director and negative managed to escape to the U.S., where a dubbed version of Heart of a Nation was finally made available in 1943. Intriguingly enough, the man responsible for the salvation of the film was a German officer who happened to be a fan of Duvivier's work.

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Keywords

family, France, generation, life, war, time, occupation [military], Germany, Nazism, oppression