DIRECTOR: MARCEL OPHÜLS
Producer John Friedman in person.
Following up his massive The Sorrow and the Pity, Ophüls returned to face the horrors of World War II, this time latching onto a single, terrible figure, that of “Butcher of Lyon” Klaus Barbie, a Gestapo chief in occupied France whose barbarism is attested to by a litany of both former victims and allies, only brought to justice in 1987 after having disappeared to Bolivia with the knowledge of American intelligence. “One of my favorite filmmakers is Marcel Ophüls, and nominally this film is about Klaus Barbie. But in my view, it's really about the ease in which people can slip into fascist or totalitarian modes of thinking and kill other people.”—Frederick Wiseman
Screening in the series Icarus Films at 40.