What does this 1969 film based upon Joseph Kessel’s 1943 novel of the same name, tell us about the moral stresses involved in being operatives in the French Resistance during Nazi occupation? How does it illustrate the psychological, emotional and moral costs involved in making mortal choices in service of protecting that resistance effort? How does the film use the fate of resistance leader Mathilde to illustrate the utilitarian strategic decisions that had to be made when members were arrested and coerced for information? How does it illustrate the moral harm involved in killing human beings ‘up close’? How did the contemporary political climate in late 60s France influence the reception of this film? Did the film lionize Charles De-Gaulle as some critics maintained?

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