Au Revoir Les Enfants is a French film that takes place during the German occupation of France in WWII. The main character, Julien Quentin, is sent off to a prestigious Catholic boarding school on the French countryside. At school he is generally reclusive and secretly misses his mother.
A new student, Jean Bonnet, arrives late in the school year. To the other boys he seems a bit different, wich warrants them to pick on Bonnet mercilessly.
Julien discovers Bonnet's real last name is Kippelstein and that he is a Jew being hidden in the school from the Nazis. Julien and Bonnet eventually form a strong friendship, but Julien finds himself in a situation unlike any he has ever experienced. He begins to realize the dangers that face Jean and anyone who know his secret.
This report prepared by Cindy Rogers
Julien Quentin (Manesse) is a 12-year-old French student at a school run by friars outside Paris during the Second World War. A boy named Jean Bonnet (Fejto) arrives and becomes Julien's roommate; Bonnet is a Jew the friars are hiding from the Nazis. Since Julien is the top student in the class and Jean is pretty sharp, the two begin their relationship as rivals, but eventually become close friends who share a secret. The great Louis Malle wrote and directed this film in the autumn of his life, based on his own actual experiences in boarding school during the war -- when a kitchen worker with a grudge became an informant, and the friar who was principal of the school was eventually marched off to the camps with the Jewish kids. Nominally a "Holocaust film," this 1987 movie is mostly gentle and elegiac, with the Germans portrayed as largely decent, if a bit threatening, and the real villains being the French collaborators.
This report prepared by David Loftus