Capitaine Conan is one of the most applauded films by celebrated French director Bertrand Tavernier (Quai d’Orsay, Princess of Montpensier). Here he returns to the bloody battlefields of World War I, the focus of his earlier film Life and Nothing But, for a contemplative drama about what happens to warriors once the savage fighting ends.
Set in the Balkans during late 1918, the story concerns a soldier, Conan (Philippe Torreton), who has helped to win several skirmishes with his unorthodox hit squad. When the Armistice is declared, Conan and his men find it difficult to put the thrill of combat aside.
Based on the 1934 autobiographical novel by Roger Vercel, Capitaine Conan won several César Awards following its release, including Best Director and Best Actor. With its unflinching presentation of an overlooked period of French military history, the film remains both a riveting experience of life in battle and a serious reflection on the ethics of war. Tough, provocative and impeccably shot, this is a film that Tavernier fans will enjoy experiencing in the cinema once again.