Monday, November 11, 2013

1914's Pacifist Rebels Gloriously Remembered by Director of World War I Film Which Was in Fact an Anti-Bush Screed

Christian Carion has a long op-ed in Le Monde in which he speaks glowingly of an episode of enemy soldier fraternization at Christmastime 1914 — a subject he used in 2005 for a World War I motion picture.
En 1992, j'ai découvert les fraternisations de Noël 1914, dans le livre d'Yves Buffetaut, Batailles de Flandres et d'Artois (Tallandier, 1992). J'apprends que des soldats français ont applaudi un ténor bavarois le soir de Noël, que d'autres ont joué au football avec les Allemands le lendemain, qu'il y a eu des enterrements en commun dans le no man's land, des messes en latin.
When Joyeux Noël came out in 2005, No Pasarán wrote a post on the film, calling it World War I Film Bashes Bush.
A "European propaganda instrument", Le Monde calls the French-German-Belgian-British-Romanian co-production, against (who else?) George W Bush.

Unfortunately, subtlety is hardly integral to the peace movement nowadays, but then, what can you expect, what with the monstrous president in the White House? A British bishop shows up and proceeds to hold a speech for a company of fresh and innocent-faced soldiers newly arrived on the front, who, he wants to make sure, harbor no treasonous sentiments of the pacifist kind.

The speech is pure Dubya; or, rather, the left's caricatured presentation of Dubya and the neocons.

His eyes flaring, the religious fanatic that the bishop is spits and sputters as he refers to God, to religion, to good and evil, and to the monstrous enemy; from this, he segues naturally into the exhortation to kill. The audience thus accepts that it is wholly natural that a religious man like he should deliver the following "message": Godless Germans should be cut down, every man, woman, and child.

(It will come as a surprise to nobody that the director's brother, Pierre, used to webmaster the (now defunct) Yankee-bashing Rondelles de Saucissons et l'Addition).

After the speech, the scottish priest (i.e., the true humanitarian) walks out, disgusted, leaving his cross dangling behind, somewhat like Gary Cooper did with his sheriff's star in High Noon.

As the credits rolled when I saw Merry Christmas at the Cannes film festival, the audience erupted into applause and Bravos. And why wouldn't they? Doesn't the film show exactly what Bush is all about?
This is a good one:
En Grande-Bretagne et en Allemagne, les journaux ont relaté les phénomènes des fraternisations. Sur les rives de la Tamise, des photos furent publiées par la presse. En France, pas une ligne sur le sujet. Les journaux avaient été transformés en outils de propagande au service de l'armée et du pouvoir. Les fraternisations ne pouvaient trouver un quelconque écho.
Newspapers may not have changed that much, Christian Carion.

Mais pourquoi personne n'avait-il parlé de ces fraternisations, une fois le conflit terminé ? Aucun ouvrage sur le sujet, aucune recherche… Je ressentais ce silence comme une deuxième punition à l'égard des hommes de Noël 1914. Ce sentiment d'injustice a fait naître en moi le désir profond de réaliser le film Joyeux Noël.
Related: Debunking Three Big Myths of World War I

Preparing to Give 2014's World War I Commemorations the PC Treatment ("Everyone is terrified of being called triumphalist or, worse still, jingoistic")