Friday, October 25, 2019

Gramps Is in the Resistance

Gramps Is in the Resistance or Papy fait de la résistance is a cult French film directed by Jean-Marie Poiré in 1983.
Héléna Bourdelle, a.k.a. "La Bourdelle," is a great singer and wife of maestro André Bourdelle. Joining the Resistance, he is killed by the accidental explosion of a grenade. Following the defeat, the family's mansion is taken over by German forces, leaving the family occupying a few back rooms and complaining to the Kommandantur about his excesses and those of his men. 
Madame Bourdelle, her daughters and their tenant help by chance the escape of an English airman and are then forced to hide him in their cellar. The family, whose former caretaker Ramirez has become a Gestapo agent, is favoured by General Spontz who has a soft spot for Bernadette Bourdelle. He is willing to ignore the fact that Guy-Hubert, son of the family, a seemingly cowardly and effeminate hairdresser, is actually the elusive vigilante known as "Super-Resistant".
Michel Taupin, who is a tenant in the family house, woos without success Bernadette Bourdelle, after initially having views on Colette. His insistent desire to join the Resistance leads to many adventures. Imprisoned after an episode at the Kommandantur, he meets a resistant, Felix / Frémontel, who confides in him, thinking he is about to be shot by the Germans. 
When they are freed by Super-Resistant, Felix finds himself unable to get rid of Michel. Although she had vowed not to sing while there were Germans in France, Madame Bourdelle is forced by General Spontz to attend a reception in honour of Hitler's half-brother, Marshal Ludwig von Apfelstrudel, held in a castle near Paris. With the help of Michel Taupin, the Resistance detonate a bomb in the dining room.
The story seems to end but proves to be a "film within the film," and gives way to a contemporary television debate, designed to address the period of occupation, and to report on the reality of the depicted events in the film. 
The show brings together Bernadette Bourdelle and General Spontz (now happily married), Guy Hubert, Adolfo Ramirez Jr. (son of Ramirez, who came from Bolivia to defend his father's memory), and Michel Taupin (now Cabinet Minister of Veterans Affairs). 
Soon, the discussion turns to disaster: Ramirez Jr. insults and defames the other protagonists of the story, who start to beat him up on the TV set, forcing the host to cut the transmission.

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