As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then 'only as a field of rubble'. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city's former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan . In this passionate and emotional adaptation of the 2011 stage success by Cyril Gély, the great Volker Schlöndorff (Academy Award winner The Tin Drum) has created a psychologically elaborate game of political manners between two highly contrasting characters. While Choltitz entrenches himself behind his duty to obey unquestioningly all military orders, Nordling tries everything he can to appeal to reason and humanity and prevent the senseless destruction of the beloved 'City of Lights'.
Director: Volker Schlöndorff Cast: André Dussollier, Niels Arestrup, Burghart Klaussner, Robert Stadlober, Charlie Nelson, Jean-Marc Roulot Screenwriters: Cyril Gély, Volker Schlöndorff Producers: Marc De Bayser, Frank Le Wita DoP: Wolfgang Thaler Editor: Virginie Bruant World Sales: Gaumont US Distributor: Zeitgeist Films, New York City
Director Volker Schlöndorff was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1939. He moved to France in 1956 and studied in Paris. Having worked as assistant director to Louis Malle, Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Resnais, his 1965 film Young Torless marked the first international success for New German Cinema. The Tin Drum won the 1979 Palme d'Or in Cannes and an Oscar. From 1992 to 1997 he was head of Studio Babelsberg. He has also directed theatre and opera productions, including works by Janáček and Henze. Prior to Diplomacy, his latest film was Calm at Sea.
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New People Cinema
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