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Au revoir les enfants 12 rating

A French boarding-school friendship threatened by Nazi hatred in Malle's elegant tale of World War Two.

War 1987 105 mins

Director: Louis Malle


The story is set in January 1944 at an exclusive Catholic boys boarding school near Fontainebleau. Twelve-year-old Julien (Gaspard Manesse), a bright, popular pupil at the school, is asked by headmaster Père Jean to look after a new boy, the shy, sensitive Jean Bonnet (Raphaël Fejtö). As the boys slowly become friends, finding a shared love of reading and music, Julien discovers that Jean is Jewish and that he is being kept hidden from the Nazis by the priests of the school under an assumed name. Within an exceptionally moving, yet deliberately unsentimental central story, Malle blends fact with fiction to create notable characters such as Julien’s glamorous mother and Joseph, the much-taunted kitchen helper who runs a black market with the boys.

Au revoir les enfants was a worldwide box-office triumph, winning critical acclaim and numerous awards, including Golden Lion for Best Film at the 1987 Venice Film Festival, seven French Césars and a BAFTA. It was also nominated for two Academy Awards.