Special Section

1975 [FRENCH]

Drama / History / Thriller / War

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.6/10 10 1524 1.5K

Plot summary

In occupied France during the WWII, a German officer is murdered. The collaborationist Vichy government decides to pin the murder on six petty criminals. Loyal judges are called in to convict them as quickly as possible.

February 11, 2024 at 05:45 AM



Top cast

Yves Montand as Un milicien
Michael Lonsdale as Pierre Pucheu, le ministre de l'Intérieur
Jacques Perrin as Roger Lafarge, l'avocat d'Abraham Trzebrucki
Costa-Gavras as Un milicien
1010.95 MB
French 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 50 min
Seeds ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Eumenides_0 8 / 10

How to Use the Law to Commit Injustices

In another brilliant collaboration between director Costa-Gavras and screenwriter Jorge Semprún (Z, State of Siege), we journey Nazi-occupied France where young resistance members, living up to the French ideals of freedom, and in stark opposition to Marshall Pétain and his ministers' eagerness to please the invaders, decide to kill German soldiers. This event leads the Vichy government to institute a special court of law to trial and sentence to death communists, Jews, anarchists and other undesirables on spurious charges, just to appease the Germans, who threaten to kill 50 eminent Frenchmen - like judges and lawyers.

The movie chronicles how the government, the minister of justice, his judges and everyone else involved in the judicial system, change the constitution, pass special laws, and choose the scapegoats. Throughout we also see a few voices rising against the injustice, but they're quickly silenced or ignored. In the end these exceptional courts - the Special Sections of the title - are carried out with almost complete unanimity amongst the judicial class.

This is what Costa-Gavras wishes to show and condemn, the conformity and complicity of these people with their invaders, the execution of innocent people for political reasons, and the use and abuse of the law to hide injustice. The movie is shot very surgically, almost like a documentary, with some dramatic licenses, of course. Costa-Gavras can't be accused of not knowing how to mix heavy subjects with mainstream storytelling.

A deviation from his his fast-paced thrillers like Z and State of Siege, this movie is more of a drama, and an exceptionally good one, deserving of more popularity amongst cinema lovers. It's interesting, informative and possibly mind-changing.

Reviewed by bruno-chereul 9 / 10

The true history of the fascism under Marshall Pétain

After the film of Max OPHULS "le chagrin et la pitié" this picture shows the obedience of 99% of the judjes in France during the german occupation. Of course all the jews or any reluctant were killed. It's a shame for my country. As said Otto ABETZ, chief of the Gestapo in France, "the french used to make too much"! For us it's not a congratulation. The actal Président Jacques CHIRAC took heart to empasize this on 1995.

Reviewed by LucasHC_ 10 / 10

Very interesting from a Law point of view.

I say it is interesting because it shows how the law is not a science immune to abuse and ideologies, used to commit injustices.

After the advent of the French Revolution, and many subsequent events, legal science and contractual relations became the great tenets of modern society, but the powerful of this Earth always found a way to pervert things, and with the science of law it was not different.

From the point of view of legal principles it's painful, but what relieves conscience are the negatives of the great jurists, leaving only a few pessimists who thought that Nazi Germany would be the new world order after the Second War. They went bad, they got dirty in the story.

We must never give in to evil, even if it imposes itself as a new and "saving" order of the motherland.

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