A Salute to France DVD (Jean Renoir)
Long considered a lost work of negligible importance to Jean Renoir’s distinguished career, A Salute to France deserves to be rediscovered for its innovative form, the insight it provides into the aesthetics and politics of Renoir’s work, and the challenges of collaborative, cross-cultural propaganda film production during World War 2. As a commissioned project made for the American Office of War Information, this thirty-six minute docudrama combines newsreel footage and acted scenes to denounce Nazism while promoting democratic solidarity between the United States, France, and Great Britain in preparation for D-Day. Shot at Twentieth-Century Fox’s New York sound stage between February and April 1944, the film had a unique dual purpose and audience, prompting Renoir and his international production team to make distinct English and French language versions rather than relying on dubbing or subtitling. This English version was meant to prepare American troops culturally for the upcoming invasion and to dispel the prejudice that France was a nation of collaborators. The French version, to be shown following the Allied armies’ advance, was intended to reassure French civilians that the GIs came as respectful friends and liberators rather than occupiers or imperialists.
Starring Burgess Meredith, Claude Dauphin, Philip Bourneuf. Directed by Jean Renoir, Garson Kanin.
USA, 1944, B&W 36 Minutes, English Language version only.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
Two Historical Slide Shows:
• Renoir’s A Salute to France: A Brilliant Failure
• Becoming a Franco American: Jean Renoir 1939-44
(by Brett Bowles, Professor of French Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington)
• Bonus feature: Le Journal de la Resistance, the film record shot by Resistance cameramen of the Paris uprising against the departing Germans in August 1944. France, 1944, B&W, 33 minutes, French with English subtitles.
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Available for Immediate Shipment!