"A four-hour documentary on Nazis"

The Sorrow and the Pity.jpg
One of the great films, The Sorrow and the Pity, screens Saturday at noon at Bell Auditorium in Minneapolis. (Here's the City Pages review.) I avoided it for years because of the "I'm not in the mood to see a four-hour documentary on Nazis" joke in Annie Hall, but the movie never gets boring. The subtitled, black and white 1969 doc about French resistance and collaboration during WWII introduces you to vivid personalities of people who were there, and draws you in. (The mix of interviews and rare footage became the blueprint for cinematic histories from Eyes on the Prize to The War at Home.) The picture screens as part of the Bell's "Marcell Ophuls: Open Your Eyes" series (starting this weekend). Here's Matthew Wilder's preview in City Pages (scroll down): "This three-film retrospective is especially notable for the presence of The Memory of Justice [Oct. 22-23], Ophuls's 1976 masterpiece about the Nuremburg trials and the nature of 'crimes against humanity' in the post-WWII world. Memory was assailed in its day for being unfocused, but the filmmaker's roving style, darting from Dresden to Ho Chi Minh City in a blink of the mind's eye, will seem especially apt to today's hypertext generation...

"Alongside Memory sits Ophuls's monumental Sorrow and the Pity [click for Village Voice review], a four-hour meditation on the nature of the words collaboration and resistance (and, alas, a punch line in Annie Hall). A Marcel Ophuls film frustrates your certainties, requests a rigorous reexamination of the point it just made, and never lands in a place where it can feel secure. In other words, a Marcel Ophuls film has never been more essential than now."

All screenings begin at noon at the Bell, U of M, University Avenue and 17th Street SE, Mpls.; 612.331.3134

October 15-16
The Sorrow and the Pity

October 22-23
The Memory of Justice

October 29-30
The Troubles We've Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime (1994)

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