Back in December of 1914, while World War I raged on in a mass of violence and casualties, something some may consider a miracle happened. On Christmas Eve, an unauthorized, informal ceasefire occurred between the warring nations. This particular film highlights the events surrounding three particular groups during this occasion; France, Scotland and Germany.
This happens to end up being one of those admirable war films, in that it generously shows us varying sides of the conflict. It's NOT your ever-so typical American pride film so much as an unveiling of such a special event from other sides of the battle.
The film is essentially centered on six main characters. From the Scotland side, Leutenant Gordon (Alex Ferns) and Father Palmer (Gary Lewis). The French side mainly focuses on Audebert (Guillaume Canet). Finally, from the German side, Horstmayer, Sprink (Benno Fürmann), and his Danish fiancee, Anna (Diane Kruger). There's plenty of detail on each character, but we could also be here all day. Each has their own development, and each story is well done.
The real magic of this film happens when the Scots begin to sing from their trenches on Christmas Eve, songs from their homeland as well as festive songs for the holiday. Soon, each nation joins in the "festivities" as they manage to find a common ground between them. Their wills are strong enough that they agree on a ceasefire, come out of the trenches and meet and greet each other in person. It's really something to behold, if only for the reminder that, as different nations, we can manage to find peace somewhere if we try.
Much like with 'White Christmas', this is another Christmas film that doesn't exactly find itself in my all-time favorites list, but I have to recommend seeing it at least once for yourself. It's quite a beautiful and haunting movie to behold, especially in knowing that this unofficial Christmas Eve ceasefire was a real and miraculous event.
It gets even more crazy when we're shown how these soldiers deal with things after the ceasefire, when they're meant to kill other people they've just befriended. No spoilers, but things get pretty emotional, and the big takeaway from it all (at least for me) is the showing of just how powerful the Christmas spirit can actually be - even amongst those we consider "the enemy".
5/18/2019 10:46:08 pm
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten the chance to watch this movie yet. Perhaps, there are so man things this movie can offer to me that's why you had a very good rating for the movie! Actually, I am happy that it got a high ratings from you. I know you for being such a very great critic. If there's something that you don't like about the movie, you would mention it! But in this case, you liked everything in it, and I am so thankful for that!
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