Army of Shadows

Army of Shadows

Army of Shadows is a film that evokes the feeling of winter. Cold that lives in your bones. Chilly scenes colored with blues and grays. Bare trees, cloudy skies, frozen ground. The city streets are always empty. We hear the sounds of harsh winds blowing, echoes of footsteps in the distance. The film is incredibly quiet and incredibly tense, creating an atmosphere of struggle and loneliness and paranoia. Resisting against an occupying force is to experience an endless winter. A harsh existence... a life where you’re constantly in danger, unsure of who to trust, forced to live in the shadows.

Two and a half hours experiencing the solitude of those who dedicate their lives to the cause.* Yes, resistance is necessary, but it’s also painful and complicated. We see how terrible choices will be made in the fight for freedom, how no one can emerge unscathed, even those fighting on the right side. The film ends on a haunting note of moral ambiguity. This is what war does to people.

*A quote I’ve stolen from filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, from a behind the scenes documentary on the making of Army of Shadows.

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