The Army of Crime | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 134 minutes · 2009

Historical Drama, War
Jean-Pierre Melville's French thriller Army of Shadows (1969) angered some with its frank depiction of the moral compromises sustained by French resistance fighters during the Nazi occupation; two generations later, French Armenian filmmaker Robert Guediguian delivers another epic drama of the resistance, though his 2009 film stresses the commitment and sacrifice of a real-life terror cell commanded by the Armenian poet Missak Manouchian (Simon Abkarian). Before Manouchian's crew were captured and executed in February 1944, they carried off dozens of successful small-scale attacks around Paris, and these give Guediguian plenty of ordnance to play around with. Yet the movie's real power lies in his careful development of Manouchian and two others in the cell: the communist propagandist Marcel Rayman (Robinson Stevenin) and the Jewish teenager Thomas Elek (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet). With Virginie Ledoyen. In French with subtitles.
Director: Robert Guédiguian
Producer: Dominique Barneaud
Cast: Simon Abkarian, Virginie Ledoyen, Robinson Stévenin, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Lola Naymark, Yann Tregouet, Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Ivan Franek, Adrien Jolivet and Horatiu Malaele

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