-Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)

Tue 14 December 2021
Time 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Price £5

Director: Christian Carion (France, Germany, UK, Belgium, Romania, 2005)
Certification:  12  | 1h  56 min | Drama, History | Language: English, French, German, Latin with English subtitles

Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noël) tells the true-life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war. Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.
The film recreates a night of conciliation and it is a poignant reminder of the spirit’s survival and humanity. In 2006, the film was an Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominee for Best Foreign Film, after winning the previous year awards in Leeds and Valladolid and being presented in Cannes out of competition.

French writer-director, Christian Carion, whose parents were farmers in Northern France has mentioned in different interviews how he grew with a close presence of the war, as the fields of his childhood had many shells from the first World War that never exploded.  During his research he had access to military reports and archive material which provided inspiration for his characters.

“A vivid, quietly powerful recreation of a truly extraordinary moment in history: just not an overwhelmingly moving one”  – Empire

+ Christmas in the UK through the years (1900-1928, 6 minutes)

A selection of six documentary short films from the BFI National Archive giving us an insight into the Christmas and winter traditions in the UK covering a series of seasonal traditions through almost three decades. The 6-minute compilation of silent films curated by Lorena Pino is part of the BFI National Archive collection available on BFI Player and it was formed from different sources.
The archive material offers a glimpse into the outdoor winter games of Victorian boys, the Allied troops enjoying their Christmas rations during WWI, a turkey farm and fashionable mechanical toys in the 20s. A rare and invaluable collection of images to reflect on the seasonal traditions and how much those have changed or not over the decades.

With support from the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) awarding funds from The National Lottery and special support from the BFI National Archive team.

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