Edition no. 227
A mysterious writer of poison-pen letters, known only as Le Corbeau (the Raven), plagues a provincial French town, exposing the collective suspicion and rancor seething beneath the community’s calm surface. Made during the Nazi occupation of France, this film by Henri-Georges Clouzot was attacked by the right-wing Vichy regime, the left-wing Resistance press, and the Catholic Church, and was banned after the country’s liberation. But some—including Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre—recognized the powerful subtext to Clouzot’s anti-informant, anti-Gestapo fable and worked to rehabilitate his directorial reputation after the war. Le Corbeau brilliantly captures the spirit of paranoid pettiness and self-loathing that turns an occupied French town into a twentieth-century Salem.
- Interview with filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
- Excerpts from The Story of French Cinema by Those Who Made It: Grand Illusions 1939 – 1942, a 1975 documentary featuring Henri-Georges Clouzot
- An essay by film scholar Alan Williams