14–18, The Noise and the Fury

14–18, le bruit et la fureur
France, Belgium, 2009
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Scr.: Jean-Francois Delassus
Editor: Olivier Martin
Music: Marc Tomasi
Distributor: Wide Management
100 mins

Not everything has been told about World War One. This documentary tries to explain the inexplicable: how tens of millions of men could have suffered the unbelievable toughness of life in trenches during 5 years, season after season, day after day, night after night? How could they have accepted the idea of a sure death or injury while they could not even tell the exact reason why they were fighting? What you are about to see can seem crazy: WW1 was maintained by a general consent.

14–18, The Noise and the Fury is a documentary based on rare archives for the first time colorized, restored and sonorized as never before. Result is a living history lesson of unusual vividness and emotional power. Our protagonist is an ordinary Frenchman who, like myriad other "young idiots hungry for adventure," enlists early on for what turns out to be "four years of such intense agony." The superbly written text balances credibly ground-level experience -- cold, fear, boredom, worry about comrades and those back home – with explanation of the war's larger movements.



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