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J'Accuse Part 1
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J'Accuse
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J'Accuse, Gance's extraordinary breakthrough work, is a World War I drama considered to be one of the most technically advanced films of the era and the first major pacifist film. It was referred to by Gance as "A human cry against the bellicose din of armies."

This seminal cinematic achievement stars Marise Dauvray as Edith, a young woman who is unhappily married to an older man, Francois (Severin-Mars), but is actually in love with a young poet, Jean Diaz (Romuald Joube). Both Jean and Francois end up on the front lines of World War I while Edith is captured by German forces and suffers atrocities at the hands of the soldiers. Gance contrasts individual human suffering with the larger horrors of war, depicted with stark realism.

J'Accuse introduced such technical advances as rapid-cut editing and highly expressive camerawork and lighting. Gance, who had served briefly in the military, returned to active service in order to film real battle scenes to include in the project. The film became a huge international hit, prompting one journalist to write that if the film had been shown in every town in the world in 1913, war might have been averted. In the early 1920s, Gance revised the plot, titles, and editing for "peacetime" presentation. That had been the only version of the film available until now.

Directed by Abel Gance.

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Running Time
166 mins
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2 videos included
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