February 2019, arsenal cinema

The DEFA Foundation Presents

LES MISÉRABLES/DIE ELENDEN, 1958

In the 1950s, four Franco-East German co-productions featuring internationally acclaimed actors such as Yves Montand and Simone Signoret (The Crucible, 1957) or Gérard Philipe (Bold Adventure, 1956) were made. Sixty years after premiering at the Colosseum cinema in Berlin, we present Jean-Paul Le Chanois’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s LES MISÉRABLES. This moving two-part melodrama starring Jean Gabin as the former convict Jean Valjean, was the most successful film of 1959 in the GDR, attracting six million viewers. Valjean tries to build a new life for himself in a small town as M. Madeleine, supporting the poor and even being nominated mayor. The police inspector Javert discovers his true identity and follows him to Paris. In the commotion of the July Revolution of 1830, there is a confrontation between the two. (jh) (4.2.)