Some of the movies I’ve reviewed were difficult to get hold of. Joyeux Noël was one such movie. I stayed in a hotel in Avila Beach where they had this DVD in their library! It’s a fairly well done movie, but like The Boys in Company C, it is really an anti-war movie, not a soccer movie at all.
Joyeux Noel is a French film based on actual incidents that occurred in 1914 throughout the Western front in World War I. As it was the first Christmas of the war, many troops ceased hostilities without a formal truce, originally mainly to retrieve and bury their dead. But some troops fraternized further by singing together the newly popular song, “Silent Night”, and they exchanged food, drink, and even played a game of football.
In the movie, an incident is greatly fictionalized. A famous tenor rises from the German trenches to serenade the enemy, xmas tree in hand. This opens a dialog between the lieutenants of the French, German, and Scottish troops. A famous soprano sings for the combined troops, and a pastor leads them all in a Latin mass.
Each side shelters the other in their trenches during artillery barrages. The soldiers are no longer willing to fight each other. Once word of the incident spreads, they are considered compromised and are sent to other fronts. War Game is another interpretation of the Christmas Truce.
5 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 5
- Release Date: 2005-05-16 (Cannes)
- In French, German, and English, with various language subtitles
- DVD has director’s commentary and an interview
- Director: Christian Carion