La Diplomatie

imageI’ve been feeling a bit low energy due to a cold that got hold of me. And I had been so healthy this winter! Soon, I’ll be taking ten students to Paris, so I have to get in top form quickly! So, in order to recuperate, I’ve been lounging about at home watching movies on Netflix instead of giving my Fitbit a workout at the gym. One of my favorite films was Diplomacy, a 2014 release. The original French title was Diplomatie and the pronunciation is almost identical, but with the emphasis on the last syllable  (dip-lo-ma-sea).


The film is an adaptation of a play by the same name, written by Cyril Gely. It’s basically a two-man show starring André Dussollier and Niels Arestrup. Dussollier lives in the apartment next to me in Paris, and I occasionally see him passing by, so I feel an instant affinity for any film in which my “neighbor” appears. The movie is based on the true story of General von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris during the Occupation, and the Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling. Choltitz was under orders to flatten Paris before the Allies arrived. Nordling exercises his diplomatic skills to persuade Choltitz to spare the city at great personal risk.


Since Paris is still standing, it’s not a spoiler alert for me to say that Nordling succeeded, but there is still plenty of drama in this movie. I highly recommend it to you. It is subtitled in English, but thr French is generally slow-paced, if you want to work on your listening comprehension skills. If you do not have it on Netflix, it is available to rent on Amazon.

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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