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Lucie Aubrac

Lucie Aubrac

Director:Claude Berri
Cast:Daniel Auteuil, Carole Bouquet
Genre:Film, Foreign, War

By Luisa F. Ribeiro | Posted

The latest film by French writer/director Claude Berri (Jean de Florette, Germinal) opens with a flurry of conventions from the cinematic view of World War II: a train, Germans, a handful of resistance fighters, a bomb. Thankfully, from there Berri whips up a taut retelling of the true story of Raymond Samuel (the always watchable Daniel Auteuil) and his wife, Lucie Bernard (coolly portrayed by model-turned-actress Carole Bouquet, settling into middle age with a regal elegance), whose code name with the French resistance was "Aubrac." Based on Bernard's spellbinding autobiography, Outwitting the Gestapo, the story follows the devoted couple through their hair-raising resistance activities and Lucie's audacious confrontation with the brutal "Butcher of Lyon," Klaus Barbie. (Bernard stayed true to the resistance well into the 1980s, timing her book's release to coincide with Barbie's war-crimes trial so as to counter his defense.) At times Berri's pacing stumbles slightly, but Lucie Aubrac remains a remarkably unsentimental yet emotional and harrowing portrayal of the amazing courage of everyday people against unimaginable tyranny.

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