From the Video Shop: Un Amour À Taire   (English Title: A Love to Hide)

Neil Turner

2005 - France - 102 minutes

Writers - Pascal Fontanille and Samantha Mazeras

Director - Christian Faure

Internet Movie Database User Rating - 8.8/10 - Link to IMDB

My Rating - 4 of 5 Stars

This film - made for French television - is another startling and insightful example of the cruelties perpetrated by the Nazis and their supporters during World War II. This time all of the horrors of the evil minds of the Nazis are directed toward homosexuals.

Jean is a young man living in France helping to run his family's cleaning business. He is approached by, Sarah, a woman he had known as a teenager when their families vacationed in the same area. Sarah is a Jew and has just escaped from the Germans in France after have been betrayed by a man who was supposed to be arranging safe passage for Sarah and her family to a neutral country. Sarah and Jean were very good friends - almost young lovers - and Jean readily agrees to hide Sarah. He takes Sarah to his friend, Philippe's apartment where she poses as Philippe's cousin Yvonne from Alsace.

Sarah has always been in love with Jean, and her desires are heightened by his heroism in taking the risk of hiding her and arranging for her to work at in his family's business. She is shattered and angered when she discovers that Jean and Philippe are lovers, but the three eventually establish a relationship of respect and affection that supersedes past hurts and jealousies.

The relationship of Sarah, Jean, and Philippe is just one important to the film. Jean also has an interesting and complex relationship with his brother - the bad boy of the family - that eventually leads to disaster. Needless-to-say, this is not a "happy ending" film.

I recently watched a news magazine on television in which they placed an actor in the roll of a cab driver in Las Vegas who engaged his passengers in discussion of the "queers" in Vegas. What those people said was horrifyingly shocking, and I would guess that the producers of the show would have been able to garner similar hateful comments about people who are Jewish, Islamic, of African decent, or any member of a minority discriminated against today and through out history. A film such as Un Amour À Taire reminds us that there were governments that made such gross prejudices their policy. Hopefully it also reminds the viewer that such horrors still exist and must be eradicated.

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Harvard Square Commentary, December 11, 2006