- Film (1981). NEF-Diffusion/Stella/Antenne 2/Gibe/Telecip. Dir Christian de Chalonge, starring Michel Serrault, Jacques Dutronc, Robert Dhery, Jacques Villeret, Jean-Louis Trintignant. Screenplay de Chalonge, PierreDumayet, based on Malevil (1972; trans 1974) by Robert MERLE. 119 mins. Colour.This moderately lavish Franco-German post- HOLOCAUST movie reinforces the sentimental aspects of its good source novel. The Bomb goes off while the vintage is being tasted deep in the wine cellar of an aristocrat's chateau. The first half is gripping, as the survivors wonder when, if ever, they will be able to leave the well stocked cellar again, and the first glimpses of the devastated landscape outside are powerful. But then a simplistic clash between the aristocrat's lovably feudalpaternalism and the totalitarianism of a local boss (he too has a gang of survivors) reduces the film to something more routine, all done with little verve and rather too much symbolism about life reasserting itself. At the end the new society, whose medieval nature is approved by the film,is threatened, ironically, by the somewhat late arrival of a relief helicopter.PN
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.