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Cinéma-conférence Unipop: Royan, the tragedy of 1945

Cinéma-conférence Unipop: Royan, the tragedy of 1945

Royan, the tragedy of 1945: conference by Nicolas Patin and film by Guillaume Vincent - 29/35

Lecture by Nicolas Patin :
In the 1930s, Royan, on the Atlantic coast, is the fashionable French seaside resort. It is the "pearl of the Atlantic" as the advertisements say... But everything will break with the war. Between January and April 1945, as the war drew to a close, a series of mistakes and misunderstandings led to the total destruction of the town of Royan. To this long succession of errors, one must add the political imperatives: de Gaulle imposed the capture of Royan. He could not afford to have any more pockets of German resistance on national territory while he wanted to impose France on the winning side. The tragedy of Royan is the result of the complexity of the political stakes involved in preparing for the post-war period and the strategic errors that resulted from it. Royan is above all the symbol of the absurdity of war, a singular story of the Second World War.

Film: by Guillaume Vincent. France. 2021. 52 minutes. Documentary. Format: DCP. Copy: Les Films en vrac. Selected for the 2021 Pessac International History Film Festival.
How a quiet and popular seaside resort became the scene of one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War in France.
"As I looked back on the tragedy that Royan suffered in 1945, I was caught up in the Kafkaesque chain of misunderstandings, haphazard decisions and mistakes that led to its destruction. It appeared to me as an illustration through the absurd of these individual destinies caught up in the turmoil of a great History, of military and political decisions that go beyond them. This applies to the inhabitants of the town as well as to the soldiers who took part in its capture. I wanted them to testify to bring their vision, their experience, to the historians' account. Guillaume Vincent

Open period

Monday 20 February at 6.30 pm


Single price: 8 €.
UIAB member rate: 5 €

Spoken languages

  • French
Cinéma l'Arlequin
avenue Alphonse-Baudin 01300 Belley Show / Hide location