Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)

Just a year ago, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement with Audrey Tautou hit the screens, bringing World War I trenches back into the public limelight.
It was fitting that Christian Carrion’s Joyeux Noel should open this past November on Veteran’s Day weekend.

Although World War II may have more visibly marked the French landscape, it’s World War I that has indelibly marked the hearts of generations of French families, having robbed almost every town and village of it’s greatest treasure – the youth.
Christian Carrion who grew up in northern France (born in Cambrai) had always wanted to make a film about this war. He chose the story of Christmas Day 1914 when a spontaneous cease fire and fraternization among Germans, English and French along the front created a moment of peace in the trenches.
Joyeux Noel starring Diane Kruger, Guillaume Canet, Danny Boon and Daniel Bruhl is a Christmas treat. Whatever critics may say about the film’s merit, it is most importantly a step on the long road of recovery for a nation that has not forgotten the pain of waging war on one’s own soil.
Remembering is one step toward healing, and remembering the moments of peace in the depths of conflict is a good message for the holiday season.