Katolik Shinja (The Western Confucian): The film is set during the First World War and tells the story of two Frenchman, Lt. Maréchal and Capt. de Boeldieu, a workingman and an aristocrat respectively, who are shot down and captured by the German Capt. von Rauffenstein, himself an aristocrat and who later invites the pair to lunch. On a deeper level, the film tells the story of the end of the old order of European Civilization brought about by the Great War.
Von Rauffenstein, a true quixotic gentlemen for whom notions like chivalry and a man’s word still hold meaning, forms a natural and ultimately tragic friendship with Capt. de Boeldieu. At one point, the German says to his fellow aristocrat, “I don’t know who will win this war, but whatever the outcome, it will mean the end of the Boeldieux and the Rauffensteins.”
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