J’ACCUSE!
1919, Film Preservation Associates, 166 min, France, Dir: Abel Gance

Powerful and passionate, this landmark silent - which began production several months before the end of World War I - incorporates real battle footage and uses nearly 2,000 on-leave soldiers as extras (in a chilling “return of the fallen” sequence). Poet Jean Diaz (Romuald Joubé) is in love with Édith (Maryse Dauvray), wife of the volatile François Laurin (Séverin-Mars); when war breaks out, the two men find themselves fighting in the same battalion. Gance would remake this anti-war masterpiece with sound in 1938 as another world war approached.


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