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THE OFFICER'S WARD
aka LA CHAMBRE DES OFFICIERS
UK: Optimum Releasing
Cast: Eric Caravaca, Denis Podalydes, Gregori Derangere, Sabine Azema, Andre Dussollier, Isabelle Renauld, Geraldine Pailhas, Jean-Michel Portal, Guy Trejan, Xavier De Guillebon, Catherine Arditi, Paul Le Person, Circe Lethem, Philippe Du Janerand, Pascal Ternisien
Director: Francois Dupeyron
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 131 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains frequent disfigurement images, moderate sex and war horror
UK Release Date: 22 March 2002
Selected in competition for the Cannes Film Festival 2001, THE OFFICERS' WARD tells the dramatic story of Adrien, a young First World War officer recovering from his horrific injuries.
Based on a novel by Marc Dugain THE OFFICERS' WARD, directed by Franšois Dupeyron, is set in Paris during World War I. Adrien (Eric Caravaca) is a youthful engineer with his whole life ahead of him who waits anxiously for the war to begin. He watches soldiers leaving on trains for the front line, and is smitten with a young woman, Clemence (Geraldine Pailhas), with whom he passes one tender, desperate night. Soon after, while on patrol, a bomb lands just next to him, knocking him unconscious. When he awakes, he realizes that he cannot speak, though he can move his arms and legs.
The only injury he has suffered is to his mouth and one side of his face and for an entire 35 minutes after this tragic event, Adrien's face is not shown. He is placed in a specialized ward for officers with facial disfigurements, and every nurse and doctor that looks at him cringes in astonishment. It is not until Adrien dares to confront himself by looking at his reflection in the glass of the window that the viewer sees the horrific condition of his face.
The other men in the ward support and encourage each other, helping each other to endure what was once unimaginable. A sweet and nurturing nurse, Ana´s (Sabine Azema), offers Adrien motherly compassion, but he worries that no woman will ever look at him again the way that Clemence once did.
Through masterful filming, moving performances by each and every cast member, and a beautiful, artistic script, THE OFFICERS' WARD makes a monumental statement both about the horrors of war and the resiliency of the human spirit.