War of the Buttons: film review
Well, we know the French do comedy in a much more dramatic and thought provoking manner than many other cultures and the movie The War of the Buttons is just another example. While the producer’s synopsis describes the movie as “a cheeky family comedy about integration, independence and innocence, about conflicts big and small, and growing up” it is not a side-splitting, laugh out loud comedy, but rather a thought provoking, smile and occasionally laugh film.
This movie is an adaption of Louis Pergaud’s classic 1912 novel which was a book long on the French curriculum and reprinted over thirty times; and I can see how it would have shaped many children into later becoming the adult French Resistance fighters with endless courage, strong feelings of honor and the knowledge of the power of humiliation. This is a lighthearted look however at how the “The French Resistance came in all shapes and sizes” with two rival neighbouring village childhood groups fighting each other in the local forests, in the wheat fields and in the back streets of their quaint villages for their village’s honor and for the sheer fun of it!
The movie is beautifully set and the child actors and actresses are a delight to watch. I think I will now have to try and source the book to read! What I liked was the authentic locations, the cute kids and the way that love and goodness triumphed. I would recommend watching it for its entertainment value and as a historical and language learning tool.
There are a few versions of this film released over different years but here are the details of the film I viewed: A French film (English subtitles) by Yann Samuell; adapted from the classic novel by Louis Pergaud; distributed by Palace Films Corporation; rated PG; released late 2011; and recently purchased at JB Hi-Fi.
Update: Since first writing this post I have found the french version of this book in the children’s book section in the gorgeous Parisian department store Le Bon Marché on the Left Bank and brought a copy home for myself. I imagine this classic book is always in stock at Le Bon Marché which is the first ever modern department store, created in 1838. It had a total revamp in 1852 and is a classical building showcasing all the best in womens and mens fashion, childrens fashion, makeup, fragrances and unique furniture that France has to offer declaring themselves to be a resolutely Parisian, upmarket store whose values espousing authenticity and culture are closely bound with the joys of shop. Since 1988, La Grande Epicerie de Paris, has become one of the capital’s leading food stores which is in the lower floor of the store and is great place to pick up delicious food. This iconic Parisian store is one of my favourite places to visit on the Left Bank.
Le Bon Marché is at 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France.
Improve your language skills by reading the French version of War of the Buttons below from Amazon. Check out our affiliate disclosure statement.
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