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Marcel Carne’s Children of Paradise

Classic Film Night

In this expansive drama, the lovely and enigmatic Parisian actress Garance (Arletty) draws the attention of various men in her orbit, including the thoughtful mime Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault) and the ambitious actor Frédérick (Pierre Brasseur). Though Garance and Baptiste have an undeniable connection, their fortunes shift considerably, pushing them apart as well as bringing them back together, even as they pursue other relationships and lead separate lives.

Released in 1945, Children of Paradise was shot in Paris during the Nazi Occupation. Surviving several interruptions, storms, shortages of film stock and a Jewish set designer and composer who had to work in secret, the completion of the film was a triumph. Described in the American trailer as the French answer to ‘Gone With the Wind’, it is often touted as the greatest French film of all time.

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