is a 1995 movie written and directed by Claude Lelouch
. Set in France
during World War II
, it concerns a poor and illiterate man Henri Fortin (Jean-Paul Belmondo
) who is introduced to Victor Hugo
's classic novel Les Misérables
and begins to see parallels between it and his own life.
The film starts with the accusation of the father of Henri Fortin, a chauffeur, for the death of his boss, who committed suicide. During the process and imprisonment, Henri's mother finds a job in a tavern at a beach in Normandy where Henri sees a movie about Les Misérables for the first time. While attempting to escape with another prisoner, Henri's father dies. Henri's mother, upon receiving the news, commits suicide. Henri grows up an orphan and learns boxing.
The film continues with the encounter of a ballerina Elisa and André Ziman (a young Jewish journalist who studies law) after an interpretation of a Les Misérables ballet. Later, during World War II, in an attempt to reach the Swiss border to escape from the Nazis, the Ziman family, which now include their daughter Salomé, meet Henri Fortin, who owns a moving company. They start talking about the work of Victor Hugo. During the effort to cross the French-Swiss border, the Ziman family entrust their daughter to Henri and register her in a Catholic school managed by nuns. The Zimans later find themselves ambushed, while trying to cross the frontier with other fugitives. Elisa is arrested and a wounded André finds... Read More