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schedule

  • Saturday, February 25

    5 PM (103 mins)
    BAMPFA

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SUBJECTS

Interpersonal conflict -- Drama, Soldiers -- Drama, War -- Psychological aspects -- Drama, World War, 1939-1945 -- Africa, North -- Drama, World War, 1939-1945 -- Commando operations -- Africa, North -- Drama, World War, 1939-1945 -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Drama

Bitter Victory

Restored Full-Length ‘Scope Print

Bitter Victory is not a reflection of life, it is life turned into a film . . . at once the most direct and the most secret of films, the most subtle and the crudest.

Jean-Luc Godard
featuring

Curd Jürgens, Richard Burton, Ruth Roman, Raymond Pellegrin,

In 1942, two British officers in the Libyan desert lead a commando raid to steal secret papers from Rommel's headquarters, all the while locked in bitter personal conflict. Richard Burton is compelling as Captain Leith, a seeming idealist. In the other corner is Curd Jürgens's Major Brand, whose acts of cowardice reflect both a disquieting personality trait and a calculated revenge born of jealousy. Ray constructed a war drama of bitter paradoxes—the raid succeeds but fails, and the coward is branded a hero—one that was also a breakthrough in the realist aesthetic.

Judy Bloch