Volker Schlondorff’s DIPLOMACY

Niels Arestrup with André Dussollier in Volker Schlondorff’s new film, DIPLOMACY

Director Volker Schlondorff dedicates his film version of DIPLOMACY, adapted from the French playwright Cyril Gély’s 2011 successful stage show, to the late American diplomat, Richard Holbrook. Holbrook was the man who, together with Swedish diplomat, Carl Bildt, brokered the peace in Bosnia with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords.

DIPLOMACY is predominantly a two hander set on the evening of August 25th, 1944. The Allies have entered Paris, and shortly before dawn the German military governor of the city is preparing to dynamite the capital’s famous monuments and bridges on Hitler’s orders. Enter the Swedish Consul-General, Raoul Nordling.

Niels Arestrup plays the loyal Third Reich governor, with André Dussollier as the man who must convince him not to destroy a city.

Full of patriotism and passion, this is a tour-de-force by both lead actors, who originated the roles on stage, with parry and thrust argument about what constitutes duty, national pride, the spoils of war, and the art of negotiation.

Recent barbarous assaults on cultural sites by IS, the Taliban, et al, bring the stakes of destroying Paris into sharp contemporary focus.

These sorts of actions are hard to find words for.  As this film eminently and eloquently shows, persuasive, rational, measured talk has the ability to defuse catastrophe.

DIPLOMACY is one of the gems of the Alliance Francaise Film Festival. Sessions and plays the following sessions:-

4:15 PM Sunday 8 March Palace Norton St.

9:00 PM Monday 9 March Chauvel Cinema

6:15 PM Wednesday 11 March Chauvel Cinema BUY

8:45 PM Wednesday 11 March Palace Norton St. BUY

4:45 PM Friday 13 March Palace Verona

4:45 PM Saturday 14 March Palace Norton St.

4:30 PM Sunday 15 March Palace Verona

1:30 PM Tuesday 17 March Chauvel Cinema

6:30 PM Tuesday 17 March Palace Verona

5:00 PM Thursday 19 March Palace Norton St.

8:30 PM Friday 20 March Palace Norton St.

3:20 PM Sunday 22 March Hayden Orpheum Cremorne