Au Revoir les Enfants (1987)
An autobiographical film set in Nazi-occupied France during the winter of 1943-44. The story unfolds in a Catholic boarding school run by priests, seemingly a haven from World War II.
The protagonist, Julien Quentin, a student at the school, is a pampered boy who misses his mother deeply. He acts tough but is actually quite sensitive. Julien’s life takes a turn when the headmaster, Père Jean, introduces three new pupils, one of them being Jean Bonnet.
Bonnet, initially despised by Julien for his social awkwardness and exceptional talent in arithmetic and piano, later becomes his close friend. One night, Julien discovers Bonnet praying in Hebrew and wearing a kippah. He learns that Bonnet’s real name is Kippelstein and he is a Jewish boy given asylum at the school.
Their friendship deepens over time. However, their peaceful life shatters when Joseph, the school’s assistant cook, caught selling school supplies on the black market, implicates several students including Julien and his brother François. Although Père Jean fires Joseph, he does not expel the students, and the Gestapo soon arrive at the school.
The film is a poignant depiction of friendship and loss during a devastating period in history.
The programme starts 30 minutes after doors open and the main feature 60 minutes after doors open.
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. Occupying the next bed in the dormitory to the top student in his class, the two young boys begin to form a bond. With subtitles.
6:30pm Saturday 6th January 2024