This superbly realized ensemble piece looks at the loose alliance of left-wingers and Communists who formed a factional part of the French Resistance. Guédiguian abandons his usual Marseille-based domestic dramas to paint on a larger historical and social canvas, building an absorbing tale around Armenian poet Missak Manouchian. The title is a nod to Melville’s ‘Army of Shadows’ and carries the same narrative wallop while updating a significant and still all-too-vivid period of French history.


Robert Guédiguian

France 2009 139m