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Title:ANNALES DE LA GUERRE 58 - ANNIVERSAIRE DU TRAITE DE FRANKFORT [Main Title]
Film Number:IWM 508-58
Summary: Part caption, part acted and part actuality celebration of the French liberation of Alsace and Lorraine marking the anniversary of the Treaty which annexed them to Germany. France, May 1918.
Description: The film opens with a German jackboot across the map of Alsace-Lorraine. An old couple in Alsatian costume read the news of the annexation and bemoan their fate while German officers strut outside their window. The symbolic 'Marianne' of France, in her revolutionary dress, mourns for the provinces. She hears the calls for help of the spirit of Alsace (an enchained young girl in regional dress) and can do nothing. But after forty years Germany is "avid for new conquests". A symbolic German officer tears up the Treaty of Frankfurt. The figures "1914" burn in flame behind him as he leers in anticipation. The French mobilisation order is shown as civilians in the street cheer and wave national flags. Soldiers in the uniform of 1914 march through the streets. In a symbolic scene while other soldiers rush past on the attack a French officer embraces the girl 'Alsace'. The film ends with a quotation from President Wilson's speech of 9th January 1918 insisting that the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 must be redressed before peace can be signed.
Production Details: Section Cinématographique de l'Armée Française (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations: French Army (regiment/service)
Keywords: propaganda, French - inspirational (object name)
propaganda, French - inflammatory (object name)
society, French - domestic (object name)
01/3(4-15).2 (?) (event)
Alsace, France (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Silent
Soundtrack language: None
Title language: French
Subtitle language: French
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 313 ft; Running time: 6 mins
Notes: Date: this has been taken from French official records, however the discrepancy of thirty days suggests that French and British records may be mismatched
Production etc: see Notes to IWM 508-10. This is not a regular episode, but a special piece with highly decorated and artistically drawn caption titles
Remarks: the actuality material showing the mobilisation of 1914 may well be genuine, although it is hard to judge the colour of the uniforms on monochrome film. The piece itself is a remarkable mixture, difficult to evaluate without knowing how contemporaries found it. At worst, it is disturbing rather than ridiculous