In 1914, Maurice Genevoix, a charming and outstanding student at the Ecole Normale Superieure, is drafted into the “Great” War. Caught up in this terrible historic event, after the exhilarating start to the war and the fraternity of battles, he becomes bitterly aware of the absurdity of the conflict
The “Ceux de 14” of the French title of this series are a “band of brothers”: likeable, rowdy, unruly, sometimes tipsy, at other times rebellious, ill-tempered, oft funny, ever heroic. All gradually discover the war, the Great Retreat, the shells, the Germans. War initially unfolds out in the country, perennial, still picturesque, yet to be crater-ridden in the tumult of the Great Retreat; and then the Miracle of the Marne, the pursuit of Kronprinz Wilhelm’s army. Then gradually sinking into the trenches until finally, at the end of the first three episodes, the turning point of Christmas 1914.
A story that will leave viewers neither horrified nor enthusiastic, but simply more mature and proud, proud that they are who they are through those who came before them.