‘Grand Illusions’ at All Souls on Sunday


Published: 11/4/2018 10:38:45 AM

Staff Report

GREENFIELD — This year’s Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War I, the so-called “war to end all wars.”

In honor of this anniversary and our military veterans, there will be a free showing of the 1937 film classic, “Grand Illusion,” at the All Souls Church, at Hope and Main streets on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2:30 p.m.

“Grand Illusion,” directed by Jean Renoir, was made during the 1930s, as the Nazi Party was gaining in Germany and the possibility of World War II was on the horizon. In his 1999 review, movie critic Roger Ebert wrote: “It’s not a movie about a prison escape, nor is it jingoistic in its politics; it’s a meditation on the collapse of the old order of European civilization. Perhaps that was always a sentimental upper-class illusion, the notion that gentlemen on both sides of the lines subscribed to the same code of behavior. Whatever it was, it died in the trenches of World War I.”

“So pointed was Renoir’s message that when the Germans occupied France, ‘Grand Illusion’ was one of the first things they seized,” says Ebert. “It was ‘Cinematic Public Enemy No. 1,’ propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels announced, ordering the original negative seized.”

The film and refreshments that afternoon are free. The event is sponsored by the Peace Committee of the Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, the Social Justice Committee at All Soul’s Unitarian Universalist Church and Traprock Peace Center. 

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