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One hundred years later, a look back at the ten months of hell in Verdun, the longest, bloodiest and most absurd battle of the Great War. Broadcast on Arte, the documentary Verdun, they will not pass pas de Serge de Sampigny is now available on DVD.
Verdun 1916, war, in its most tragic form. 300 days of combat, for a few hills in eastern France. 600,000 dead. The biggest shock in history between the French and German nations. Today, this massacre seems absurd to us. But the soldiers a century ago agreed to fight. Why ?
By exploring their personal archives, plunging into their daily lives, their dreams, their nightmares, we come back to the last great victory won by France against Germany. More than a battle, the symbol of nationalist madness and secular hostility between our two nations.
This documentary brilliantly sets the scene for this tragic battle thanks to numerous current views and 3D reconstruction of the battlefield. Portraits of the main French and German commanders, as well as the testimonies of soldiers, give a human face to this carnage which seems inconceivable to us today. An indispensable work of memory.
Verdun, they will not pass. Documentary by Serge de Sampigny. Editions ZED, February 2016.