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LAISSEZ-PASSER aka SAFE CONDUCT
USA: Empire Pictures
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Jacques Gamblin, Denis Podalydes, Charlotte Kady, Marie Desgranges, Marie Gillain, Ged Marlon, Philippe Morier-Genoud, Laurent Schilling, Maria Pitarresi, Christian Berkel, Richard Sammel, Olivier Gourmet, Philippe Sa´d, Liliane Rovere, Götz Burger, Serge Riaboukine, Didier Sauvegrain, Thierry Gibault, Christophe Odent, Olivier Brun, Pierre Lacan, Jean-Yves Roan, Bruno Raffaelli, Jean-Claude Calon, Herrade, Viviane Crausaz, Noëlle Cazenave, Jorg Schnass, Dominique Pacitti, Dominique Dubreuil, Pascal Leguennec, Eric Petitjean, Michel Charvaz, Jean-Yves Ruf, Jean-Paul Audrain, Emmanuelle Bataille, Georges Viry, Vincent Schmitt, Valerie Dermagne, Jean-Luc Buquet, Hans Werner Meyer, Betty Teboulle, Philippe Duclos, Radu Duda, Niels Dubost, Pierre Berriau, Franšois Loriquet, Philippe Frecon, Jean-Christophe Cavanon, Philippe Polet, Richard Guedj, Claude Aufaure, Valerie Baurens, Jean-Pierre Leonardini, Daniel Gerno, Franšoise Sage, Jean-Claude Frissung, Tonio Descanvelle, Sebastien Thiery, Daniel Dublet, Wolfgang Pissors
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Countries: France / Germany / Spain
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 170 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate violence and sexual references
USA Release Date: 11 October 2002 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 8 November 2002
Bertrand Tavernier (ROUND MIDNIGHT, D'ARTAGNAN'S DAUGHTER, IT ALL STARTS TODAY) is beyond doubt one of France's most engaging, provocative and well respected filmmakers. LAISSEZ -PASSER, his twentieth feature, is a sumptious and meticulously researched epic portrait of survival and resistance in wartime Paris, that pays homage to France's filmmaking during the Nazi occupation. Often considered to be France's Golden Age of cinema, the 1940s constituted a high point in French screenwriting talent, best remembered for such masterpiece's as LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS and LES VISITEURS DU SOIR.
Drawing on the real life experiences of assistant director Jean Devaivre and screenwriter Jean Aurenche, whom Tavernier got to know and work with after the war, the film focuses on how these two different characters respond to the dilemma facing French technicians in the wartime film industry. Should they agree to work for German-controlled Continental Films? Is it a hiding place "in between the wolf's fangs, where it can't bite you" or is it equivalent to collaborating with the enemy?
Devaivre (an ward winning performance by Jacques Gamblin) is a man of action - rash, impulsive and daring. Having joined the resistance immediately after the fall of France, he takes a job at Continental Films as the best possible cover for his Resistance activities and to continue the struggle from within. Aurenche (Denis Podalydes) meanwhile is watchful, insatiable and curious. Torn between his three mistresses, he uses every possible excuse to turn down offers of work from the Germans. A dissident poet, he resists through his work, writing scripts which cleverly undermine the moralistic and anti-Semitic message of the Nazi propoganda machine.
LAISSEZ-PASSER picked up two Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival (2002) for Best Actor, Jacques Gamblin and Best Film Music, Antoine Duhamel.