Skip to main content

THE GLASS CAGE

Israel / France, 1964 (MIFF 1966, Programme 15)

Director: Philippe Arthuys

The Eichmann trial in lsrael is the background for a taut story of the effects of this historic trial on a group of people. The glass cage is, of course, the one Eichmann sat in, but it may also be a symbol of the one still surrounding many Israelis.

Pierre, a successful engineer who came to Israel after World War II, has suppressed all memories of his incarceration in a concentration camp in France. When Eichmann is put on trial, Pierre is asked to give testimony, but refuses. Urged by his secretary, who also suffered in the war, he at last reveals - both to his wife and to the tribunal - his past, which includes the terrible secret of how he survived. The confession, having freed him from his memories, enables him to face the future again.

In a technique reminiscent of Hiroshima mon amour, the director has used a penetrating but fluid narrative style that carefully examines the various relationships. Keeping dialogue to a minimum, the film does not sermonise although it does intimate that both the victims and the executioners have to face up to the horror and the meaning of what has happened. Jean Negroni is excellent in the lead as the sombre, brooding man facing his past.

See also...

The Girl Who Met Simone De Beauvoir in Paris

An adaptation of the Frank Moorhouse short story - a bourgeois comedy of manners. ... More »

STARS

Set in a small Bulgarian town in 1943, Stars is the story of a strange, unhappy love affair. This is what happened in the foothills of the mountains . . . A sergeant of the German Wehrmacht, a ... More »

Quiet Mutiny

A report on the life at a US Army fire-post - code name Snuffy - 100 miles from Saigon. Talks to the 'Grunts', the 18-year-old conscripts who walk out of the base on 28 day patrols of the jungle. The ... More »

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You

The pressures of everyday living are shown in almost clinical manner. In tight, highly condensed images, the film describes a day in the life of an American middle class family, surrounded by the ... More »

DUET FOR CANNIBALS

Novelist, film and social critic, Susan Sontag's first film is described as a psychological drama of four people, in which an older couple exercises its will and power over two students, and ... More »

Conquest of the Rivers

The story of the Snowy Mountains scheme and its purpose seen through the eyes of a bore sinker who takes a diamond drilling job and moves with his family to live in the mountains. (Documentary.) ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director