The Cinema Museum, London

Rare Cinema Europe presents J’Accuse!/I Accuse (1938)

Fri 24 Jun 2022 @ 19:30 · Events

J’Accuse! A chance to see a selection of rarely screened fine European films. J’Accuse!/I Accuse aka That They May Live, (France / 1938 /119 mins). Directed by Abel Gance and starring Victor Francen, Line Noro and Jean-Max.

During 1937, with the threat of German National Socialism casting its darkening shadow across Europe, Gance chose to remake J’Accuse, his own highly regarded 1919 anti-war film. This new version, Gance hoped, would be a warning against engaging in a foreseeable destructive war. To this end Gance even wrote to Leni Riefenstahl urging her to get Hitler to watch a print of the film. Alas, history was against him.

Gance employed actor Victor Francen to good effect as soldier suffering from long term memory loss having endured the pointless sacrifice of comrades during trench conflict. In 1917 Gance himself had been drafted into the French army’s Service Cinématographique, had filmed at the front line, and later suffered depression caused by the death of many of his friends. At certain points in J’Accuse, Gance inserts reality footage heightening the films powerful message. Especially, in the early scenes set in the dugouts and trenches (cleverly rendered in the confines of a studio), Gance – the master of silent film – proves that he was equal to the technical demands of the sound film.

Doors open at 18.30, for a 19.30 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Tickets £8 in advance or on the door.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Ticketlab, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.