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Legendary French actor Daniel Auteuil (Caché, The Well-Digger’s Daughter) stars as Joseph Haffmann, the owner and gifted jeweler of a humble shop in Paris in this cinematic adaptation of Jean-Philippe Daguerre’s Molière Award-winning play. When the Germans occupy the city, Mr. Haffmann and his family plan to evacuate, but he is unable to get out in time. Having already signed his store over to his ambitious employee François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche) and his wife Blanche (Sara Giraudeau, winner of the Best Actress award at the 2021 Sarlat Film Festival for this role), Haffmann now finds himself at their mercy not to turn him into Nazi officers, whose presence in the city grows by the day. Following in the tradition of Truffaut’s The Last Metro and Joseph Losey’s Mr. Klein, this period drama of life in Vichy France is a transfixing humanist portrait of survival and resistance, as well as the tragic consequences of complicity and collaboration. As the relationships between Mr. Haffmann, François, and Blanche deteriorate under the pressure of increasing shortages and deportations all around them, the film harrowingly captures how martial sadism transfers into daily domestic life within the secret world of a modest jewelry shop.
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