Diplomacy

2014

Drama / War

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 81%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 4849

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 07, 2020 at 10:35 AM

Cast

Niels Arestrup as General Dietrich von Choltitz
André Dussollier as Raoul Nordling
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
768.5 MB
1280*522
French 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S 92 / 47
1.54 GB
1920*784
French 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wpedmonson 9 / 10

Refreshing Humility in an Age of "Big" Movies

I got the chance to see "Diplomacy" last night at the Angelika in Dallas, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Twenty minutes into it, I saw where the movie was heading, the set up of it, and enjoyed every minute. The movie is a shining light on the wisdom, gentleness, and burden of age and power. Two elderly men are grappling, albeit with very different styles, over the future of Paris and its iconic treasures. It's a snapshot of history that I never saw, and holds a profound depth I won't forget.

The play-turned-movie is the story of the general in charge of the Nazi Occupation of Paris, and the Swedish diplomat who has a passing relationship with the man when the play begins. All of Paris' great architectural treasures are to be destroyed to buy time for the retreat of the Nazi army across France, and it's only a matter of hours before the order is given. The Swedish diplomat in his powerful and sly persuasive style takes on the general in trying to dissuade him through some of the most artful, intelligent and brilliant rhetoric I've seen in a movie. In many ways the film feels like a boxing match, a final scene in a Rocky movie between an underdog boxer and his strong but weary opponent who seemingly has no weaknesses.

There is both the German and French culture's strengths and weaknesses on display (even though the diplomat represents Sweden he openly says that Paris has embraced her and she him). I love this sort of contrast, particularly in showing that Germans have a softer side that's deep and valuable to them, and the French have a gristly fighting spirit that was formidable and feared up to this day; unfortunate stereotypes for both cultures. I read a quora article today about how the French didn't flee the Germans, they fought but in the WWI style that was ineffective against the Blitzkrieg (now adopted by all modern militaries in the world today). We also forget the British lost to the Germans shortly afterward, and were driven back to their island.

The movie feels like a play, which I would somewhat fault it for in some ways, but it doesn't become a distraction or take away from the film. Also the movie seems small at times, with 90% of the dialog happening in one room in a hotel where the Nazi general works. Granted, this is likely due to the low budget and it does help the motif of the movie being about the power these two men have over the fate of Paris.

This movie falls in line with a string of films lately that could almost make a genre itself: the artist/culturally sensitive figure fighting to preserve and save artistic treasures amidst a raging battle. "Monuments Men" and "The Train" come to mind immediately.

I can't help but think of all the destruction caused by wars, the Abbey at Monte Cassino being one, as well as several that we're seeing in the Middle East. I remember reading about how many important buildings and museums were threatened and attempted to be preserved as the US army went through Iraq.

Historical treasures that are destroyed by war is one of the greatest arguments against it, its chaos and disregard for what's most valuable in the world. A broader theme though is the value of an entire culture and its history, and how often war and strife easily take those down, possibly because they're so prominent and essential to a city's character. Coming from a country like the US, I don't have as acute a sense of this as those who live in Europe, but there is still something in humanity in which we are drawn to monumental art, and value it as more than just a tourist site. Paris is an easy example of this.

The movie is worth seeing, and it's quaint in its setting, and beams a sense of humility which is refreshing when movies in our time seem to fight to be the biggest (though the consequences of the decisions made in the movie are massive). It's where live theater has something to offer the world of movies, a kind of depth through being as small as possible.

Reviewed by classicalsteve 10 / 10

Tenacity of a European Diplomat and the Open-Mindedness of a German General May Have Saved a European Treasure

We often think of history as inevitable outcomes, but sometimes we forget that many things we hold dear were held in the balance in history. In late summer, 1944, the L'Arc de Triomphe, la Place de la Concorde, the Louvre, and the many ancient and modern streets of Paris could have been blown into oblivion in less than one day. Towards the end of August, 1944, the allies had retaken many of the Reich's former strongholds such as Rome and Tropoli. And now the allies were on the borders of German-occupied Paris about to storm and retake the most famous French city.

When the Reich realized they had no chance of resisting the allies from liberating the city from German occupation, Adolph Hitler made a final ultimatum: make Paris a "scorched-earth". In other words, destroy the city and lay it waste. It would be destruction on a massive scale which would not only destroy one of the most beautiful cities in the world but also murder potentially millions of lives. And yet there was neither strategic nor tactical advantage to razing Paris, only killing and mayhem. And the many monuments and art would be lost forever. Whether Hitler's order was out of pure insanity continues to be debated, although one thing is certain. The order was made most likely out of malice towards the allies and the rest Europe when it became obvious Hitler and Germany would be defeated and not as a puzzle piece towards any larger strategy to win the war.

For 3 to 4 days, General Von Choltitz, then German general in charge of Paris, orchestrated his young soldiers and engineers to plant hidden explosives under the many bridges over the Seine, the main waterway which runs through Paris. Explosive U-boat torpedoes were also deployed in tunnels under the city that, if ignited, would destroy Paris from the ground-up. At the same time, Resistance fighters had tried, unsuccessfully, to stop the deployment. At the beginning of the film, General Choltitz meets with his top commanders to begin the process of laying waste to Paris.

Then, the General receives an expected visitor, Raoul Nordling of the Swedish Consul in Paris. (In fact, the man who visited the general was Pierre Charles Tattinger, the mayor of Paris. For dramatic purposes, the characters of Tattinger and Nordling may have been combined into a single person.) The film becomes a dialogue between Nordling and Choltitz in which Nordling has to find a way to persuade the general that destroying Paris is not only a heinous criminal act even by wartime standards but also not in his best interests. After each of Nordling's arguments, Choltitz counters with other arguments, such as he cannot disobey orders from the Reich, particularly those of Hitler, no matter how monstrous they may be. Eventually, Choltitz offers Nordling a trump card which the diplomat can't seem to counter, unless he has something else up his sleeve to persuade the general.

A brilliantly written and acted film based on the play of the same name by Cyril Gely who also adapted the screenplay. André Dussollier as Nordling and Niels Arestrup as General Choltitz offer tour-de-force performances about a meeting which determined the fate of an historic city. Although we know the ending, we don't always know how we arrived there. "Diplomatie" ("Diplomacy") shows us how we got there.

Reviewed by secondtake 7 / 10

Intense, thoughtful, delicate, and if a hair too slow, also hair-raising stuff

Diplomacy (2014)

Blow up Paris? Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre? Yes—almost. And for real. It's 1944.

In the final days (or day) of the German occupation of Paris, as the Allies were moving very quickly in, the Germans (under Hitler's orders) were increasingly desperate. And bitter. They were going to leave the lovely city in ruins—you know that kind of baby attitude, if I can't have it you can't have it either.

Well, we know that Paris was not blown up. (The city famously survived the truly brutal World War II with hardly a scratch, compared to the rest of Europe.) And the final decision —to do it or not—fell to one man, ultimately, aging commanding German General Choltitz. And a man appears in his quarters who we learn is the Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling. Nordling sees the crisis, and sees the general's quandary, and has to find a way to stop the madness.

And so we have a condensed version of some very real events. The movie is based on a play which by necessity distilled this down to mostly these two characters in their hotel, though we are given a convincing sense of the city and the Germans around the hotel.

This is high drama in its purest simplest form—conversation. The men try to understand each other. The general knows the Swede is trying to persuade him, and the Swede knows the general is under orders that can't be defied. There is the moment, and then there is history, and how the world will later look on the moment. And it all is spelled out with such delicious economy and psychology, it's riveting.

And even though you know that Paris survives, you won't know why or how, or how close it came to rubble, until you see this.

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