DIPLOMATIE / DIPLOMACY

SYNOPSIS
A brisk, intelligent adaptation of the World War II–set play of the
same name, Volker Schlondorff’s Diplomacy features magnificent
performances by two lions of French cinema: Niels Arestrup and Andre
Dussollier, re-creating the roles they originated onstage. The former
plays Dietrich von Cholitz, the German military governor of occupied
Paris; the latter stars as the Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling. The
actual meetings between these two historical figures, which occurred
over several days—and which were earlier dramatized in René Clément’s
1966 film, Is Paris Burning?—are here compressed to one extremely
tense night in August 1944 at the hotel that served as von Cholitz’s base
during the war. It is in this grand lodging on the Rue de Rivoli that Nordling
tries to convince the Nazi commander not to carry out Hitler’s orders to
bomb Paris. To watch the nimble negotiating that follows—the Swedish
diplomat at once flattering the German officer and trying to appeal to his
nobler instincts; von Cholitz quick with ripostes, defiant and defensive yet
all too concerned with how he will be judged by history—is to witness two
formidable actors at the top of their craft.

“Passionate, engaging and emotional… An elegant orchestrated pas de deux between
formidable opponents.”

—Scott Foundas, Variety

DIRECTOR
Volker Schlöndorff

SCREENPLAY
Cyril Gely and Volker Schlöndorff

CAST
Niels Arestrump
André Dussollier

GENRE Historical drama
LANGUAGE French
RUNNING TIME 88’
PRODUCTION France, Germany, 2014
FORMAT(S) Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD

DISTRIBUTOR
Zeitgeist Films