100 minutes
aka Snow and Fire




Synopsis: While the Nazis occupied most of France in 1944, 19-year-old Jacques Snchal (Vincent Perez) has been active in the liberation underground. Now that the allies have freed a significant portion of their country from Allied control, he and his 17-year-old buddy, Michel Fournier (Matthieu Roze), can join the Free French Army and fight with them to help bring about the downfall of the German empire. In the meantime, Michel falls in love with a lovely young nurse named Chrstiane Mercier (Geraldine Pailhaus), who quickly becomes pregnant. However, she is actually more attracted to Jacques and the love triangle thus begins.


"For Michel, the face of Matthieu Roze came to me quickly.  I remembered his frankness in Michel Legrand's film, Five Days in June. I had a little more problem finding Jacques until my meeting with Vincent Perez. The tests immediately convinced me that he had the character and necessary qualities to stick to the character.  Jacques and Michel are friendly during childhood, while coming from different social backgrounds. Michel is idealistic with his way of  engaging in life, in love and in war while Jacques, because of his education, appears more lucid, even cynical."  ...Director Claude Pinoteau

Production Notes: Filming took place in Besancon, France. The setting of this film was based on the period during WWII between August 1944 and May 1945. In August 1944, when Paris was liberated, much of France believed that the war was over. However, it took nine more months of hard combat before the war ended. It was during the autumn of 1944 that Hitler used the first V1 and V2 missiles and also brought into service the 60-ton "Tiger" tank that proved superior to the American tanks. It was urgent to end the war. In June 1940, France had to overcome occupation, oppression, deportations and become a signaturer among the Allies present at the German surrender on May 8, 1945. This film highlights the courage and sacrifice of the F.F.I.. However, the filmmakers are not unaware of the courage and sacrifice of the F.T.P. nor of the Resistance, which contributed in other areas. But, above all, this film is a history of love and friendship.

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Geraldine Pailhas won a Cesar for "Most Promising Actress" for her performance.

Film Festival Screenings:

Sarasota French Film Festival on November 18, 1991

Seattle International Film Festival on May 27, 1992
Description: "An epic in the grand manner, this story of a platoon of young men who fought for the liberation of France in 1944-45 mixes spectacular battle scenes with more intimate moments. Two childhood friends separated by class both love the same woman. Director Claude Pinoteau drew upon his own experiences as a soldier to create this vivid and involving saga."


Vincent Perez......Jacques Snchal
Geraldine Pailhas.....Christiane Mercier
Alexis Denisof.....David
Matthieu Roze.....Michael Fournier
Francois Caron.....Poupon


Directed by......Claude Pinoteau
Screenplay by.....Daniele Thompson
Cinematography by.....Jean Tournier
Music by.....Vladimir Cosma


Premiered in France on December 11, 1991