Francophone Film Festival “A Bag of Marbles” Reveals World War II Experiences

Connie Krupa

Among a variety of other movies this year, the Francophone Film Festival will be showing the movie “A Bag of Marbles,” otherwise known as “Un Sac de Billes,” directed by Christian Duguay. This film stars actors Dorian Le Clench, Patrick Bruel, Batyste Fleurial and actress Elsa Zylberstien. 

The movie is set during World War II where two young boys, Joseph and Maurice, try to escape Nazi-run France. Adapted from the autobiographical novel “A Bag of Marbles” by Joseph Joffo, this movie demonstrates the harsh struggles and ultimate determination to reunite with family. This heartwarming and intense recount of a real-life experience is both a coming-of-age story and a memoir. 

Movie critic and enthusiast Matt Fagerholm reviewed the film, calling it the most “honest portrayal” of the novel. Fagerholm is a renowned movie critic who is part of the Chicago Film Critics Association and is the assistant editor for the Robert Ebert movie review website. 

This year, Dr. Kiki Kosnick, assistant professor of French, chose this film to show at the festival. Kosnick had not seen the movie before, but said the movie was chosen because it falls in line with the values of the Francophone Film Festival. 

Each year for the Francophone Film Festival, we try to select a variety of films that illuminate the diversity of the French-speaking world—be it historically, geographically, culturally or artistically,” Kosnick said. “I also try to highlight films representative of different genres so that there will be something for everyone.” 

This film shares different cultures in a fun and exciting way that anyone can enjoy! It brings a real perspective to historical events.

The film is quite respectable, as it won the Best Narrative Audience award at the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival and the Educacine Award in 2017. Students are encouraged to watch future Francophone films, because the storytelling of the films elicits empathy as well as understanding.

“These narratives have the potential to shape us into more kind and reflective humans with broader perspectives on the world and deeper awareness of our individual and collective responsibilities,” Kosnick said. 

On campus, there are a variety of cultural groups, where many of them put on events to share their culture with other students. The Francophone Film Festival is a great example to share French culture in a fun and easy way. A film festival like this gives students the opportunity to learn more about different cultures, especially when it is not possible to travel to different countries. 

The film was Feb. 23 in the Olin Auditorium. This journey of two boys is uplifting and an amazing film to watch as it shows French culture and the reality and struggles of the lives of so many people during World War II.