The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la Pitié)
The Sorrow and the Pity (Le Chagrin et la Pitié) (1972)

Made for French television, Marcel Ophüls' four-hour-plus documentary explores the average French citizen's memories of the Nazi occupation. Just how large and effective was the fabled resistance movement? Is cooperation the same… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: March 25, 1972
DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

It's valuable mainly as a brilliant assemblage of documents and testimonies.

Full review…
A.H. Weiler
New York Times

It soberly spotlights history -- impressively human, not pedantic, levels.

Full review…
Kate Muir
Times (UK)

This is one of the most important -- and gripping -- documentaries on the Second World War and its aftermath.

Full review…
Time Out

The mosaic is comprehensive, the documentation overwhelming, particularly regarding the nature and extent of collaboration.

Full review…
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture

It remains the preeminent documentary about historical tragedy and one of the most exhilaratingly demanding experiences the movies have ever offered.


A work which helped change the way France viewed its own past, The Sorrow And The Pity is an impressively assembled documentary which combines archival footage and detailed personal testimonies to profound effect.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

In its complexity, its humanity, its refusal to find easy solutions, this is one of the greatest documentaries ever made.

Full review…
Leslie Camhi
Village Voice

The postwar, Gaullist myth of massive French resistance to fascism has long since been destroyed, yet The Sorrow and the Pity retains its shattering power as an interrogation of memory.

Full review…
Philip French
Observer (UK)

Through its scale, intelligence, wit, imaginative organisation and polemical thrust, it changed the face of the documentary forever.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 97% Flixster User Reviews
Adam Mahler
I had always thought devotion to this movie was being made fun of in Annie Hall, until I saw it (and it takes a while to see it). The drama is amazing during… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]Directed by Marcel Ophuls, "The Sorrow and the Pity" is an epic documentary about the occupation of France by Nazi Germany from… More