Directed by Amelie Harrault & Valerie Loiseleux • Documentary • 2020 • 300 minutes
Adapted from Dan Franck’s literary trilogy Bohemian Paris, Libertad! and Midnight, the story plunges us into Parisian life at the beginning of the twentieth century, a hotbed of artistic creation with the blossoming of Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism. Through illustrations, animation and original documents, the 6-part series, which is constructed as a fiction, traces the highs and lows, scandals and celebrations, tragedies and triumphs that shaped the phenomenal period of Modern Art from the basement of the “Bateau-lavoir“ in 1900 to the last shudders of World War II. The infamous protagonists include Pablo Picasso, Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude Stein, Kiki, André Gide, André Malraux and Robert Capa. All of them artists and intellectuals who came to France from across Europe and left an indelible mark on the 20th century. These glorious subversives were adventurers before becoming heroes.
Episode 6: Midnight in Paris
World War II erupts, and France mobilizes its war effort. After the debacle of June 1940 and the Occupation of Nazi Germany, Europe is in tatters, and artists and intellectuals flee in droves.
Old friends among those who stay behind are eventually torn apart. Some collaborate, some resist - many make do as they can, and others pay for their commitment with their lives. When the war at last is over, Paris reawakens to find that an astonishing work has been created from within its war-torn midst : the film "Les Enfants du paradis", an homage to freedom written by Jacques Prévert and masterfully directed by Marcel Carné.