This film is a fictional story,
based on a true, unsolved mystery,
The names, characters and motives
and some twists of the plot
are our own invention,
District 10, the votes are counted
and the results announced,
Total votes cast: 13,250,
Total per candidate:
Communists, in 1932:
ln terms of seats: centre-right,
right and far-right:
1932: 204, 1936: 205,
Radicals and other centre-left and left:
Arsinoé, a pencil!
My pen's empty.
SFlO Socialists, in 1932: 97,
Communists, in 1932: 10,
1936: 7 2,
ln the House, the Popular Front
will form five groups:
Radical Socialists, 106 members,
Free Left, 26 members,
Yes, l'll put him on.
Fyodor! lt's for you.
,,,totalling 376 members for the Popular Front
l'm listening to the news.
l'm on my way.
Arsinoé, l have to go.
See you tonight. l may be a little late.
Not too late, l hope.
- Has General Dobrinsky arrived? - Yes, General.
Morning, Sergei Mikhailovitch.
Morning, Fyodor Alexandrovitch.
You've seen the election results?
Bad news for us.
The Communists are refusing
to share power on Stalin's orders.
Remember Dimitrov's speech
to the 6th Congress of the lnternational?
''The masses in the democracies
aren't ready to rise up.''
Not ready to rise up.
- You're sure? - l'm more than positive.
Believe it or not,
Moscow thinks a revolution would weaken France
and swing the Right towards Hitler.
They're no fools.
They've got their feet back on the ground, in any case.
They've put world revolution...
On the back burner.
On the back burner.
ln that case, long live Stalin!
No French revolution for him.
So l needn't fear too much unrest in my factory?
He's very well informed.
He's never made a false prediction yet.
The strike has spread to many trades
and changed the face of Paris,
We will fight to the last for our demands
in peace and dignity!
For our demands!
Hello. l live upstairs.
Won't you come in?
The concierge gave me this by mistake. lt's for...
- Mr Voronin? - Thank you! Yes.
She can see the pictures.
- Very pretty. Which market is it? - lt doesn't exist.
l invented it.
l don't like painting outdoors.
l make sketches and then paint at home.
l'd never dare set up my easel in the street.
Parisians are nice people but they stare
and it bothers me.
What's that lady doing?
She's shopping. And this one?
She's the stallholder.
What's your name?
We call her Dani.
She's feeling shy.
lt's natural. l must say she's adorable.
l hardly dare ask you...
Could l paint her?
She might not feel comfortable here.
There's no school today, Thursday.
Could you come upstairs?
Gladly. l prefer to draw people in their usual setting.
Can l say that?
We'd probably say ''in their natural habitat.''
- Are you Russian? - Not me.
My husband's the Russian.
We met in a sanatorium in Greece.
He was recovering from a war wound.
Now he works for the Russian Army Veterans Association.
We've been married twelve years
but we have no children,
much to my sorrow.
He has a son in Russia, living with an uncle
since his mother disappeared.
Fyodor, my husband, gets letters to him
but he can't visit him
and Sasha can't come here.
So that's my life story.
- ls she being good? - Good as gold.
l've finished for today.
May l see?
lf you see any new carrots, please buy me a pound.
Amazing! You have such a talent for likeness.
My memory is mainly...
Come into the parlour.
l'd like to sketch her a few times in various poses
and do the painting down at my place.
lf you need her there, we can find a time.
l'd rather not bother you.
l have plenty of free time.
My husband, André, and l are both schoolteachers.
He teaches history at Lycée Pasteur, l'm at Victor-Duruy.
Guess what l teach.
That means Latin and Greek.
Ancient Greek, though.
lt's very far from modern Greek.
Not that far. Some words are the same.
For example, To vima,
lt means ''tribune'' or ''step''.
lt's the name of a prestigious newspaper.
l pronounce it bema.
Now l'm lost!
- Who is she? - The girl from upstairs.
l met her mother today. She's very nice.
She let me sketch her daughter. Do you like it?
Guess what she does.
- She teaches Greek. - Ancient Greek?
Her French pronunciation baffles me.
l understand Russian better.
Did you meet the husband?
- He was at a meeting. - A Party meeting, probably.
- He's a Communist. - Who says?
l saw him in the street reading L'Humanité.
lt's my job to know everything, anyway.
- ls it awkward? - That he's Communist? Bear it in mind.
Did she ask you about me?
Come to think of it, yes.
l told her you were in the White Army. Shouldn't l?
l don't hide it.
He's a teacher too?
lntellectuals! They're the most dangerous.
Are you scared? Are you spying on them?
This is for you. Keep it.
How can we thank you?
Let me use the spare sketches for another painting.
lf you like. A painting of what?
l don't know yet.
Have you finished your previous one?
Why not come down and see it?
- Now?. - Why not?
But l doubt it's your kind of painting.
- N. Goncharova. - You know her?
But l can read Russian.
This etching's by Picasso. Unsigned,
of course, or we couldn't afford it.
Not your taste?
lt's not that. l just don't understand it.
You'll understand mine but not like them.
lt's not quite finished, but still...
lt's very lifelike.
is exactly the same
as that man, there.
l always do sketches.
Don't look at that old stuff.
On the other hand...
This one's older but...
l like it a lot.
- Delightful. - Yes.
- And there's this. - Dani loves it.
ls your art for yourself or to sell?
l've sold some to friends, but even that is hard.
l'd like to exhibit but the costs are huge.
There are more next door. Come.
The colours are beautiful.
You feel it's winter.
Your paintings focus on people.
ln France, landscapes are the thing.
The French don't care for genre painting.
Here's my husband. Have you met?
our new neighbours, Mr and Mme Passard.
My wife tells me you're teachers.
l'm a soldier. l work for the Russian Veterans Association.
l run their external affairs.
Strangely, the Russians would like this more than the French.
True. The French don't care for everyday scenes.
And Russians care even less for cerebral art.
You mean abstract art?
What about Malevich, Kandinsky, Pevsner?
Aren't they Russian?
l've heard of them but they left Russia.
Monsieur likes cubists.
Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris...
Horrible! l don't know the others.
Cubism, l don't understand and don't want to.
You sound like Stalin.
l may be a White but the Reds aren't all bad.
As a Red myself, l'd say Russia's all good except that.
For an artist or intellectual living in a bourgeois society,
to shun academic art
is a revolutionary act which may be superseded
in an already socialist country.
Your Marxist dialectic doesn't sound very orthodox!
lt's a nice change from Bolshevik art.
All those avant-gardists, cubists, and other ''ists''.
The Soviets can't stand them!
For once, they're right.
My husband says many modern artists in France are Russians,
who even fought in the Revolution.
Our Communist neighbours upstairs have a Picasso.
How do you know?. Did you visit?
Yes. They're very nice.
l'm painting their little girl. Here she is.
Be careful. They could spy on you.
Spy on what?
Every Red in France and Russia must have a file on Fyodor.
l presume he's on his guard.
l don't know. He doesn't seem afraid.
Which one shall l take?
l love this one. You can smell the grass!
- But l prefer this one. - l painted it by the sea with Fyodor.
Those swimsuits are passé!
l'll take it
and hang it in my salon to drum up business for you.
lnteresting art is hard to find
since painting went over to the Bolsheviks...
Pardon me, to Picasso and his ilk!
How much do l owe you?
l don't know...
That's far too much.
CHANGE OF CABlNET
Premier Albert Sarraut and his ministers
present their resignation to the President,
Soon after, Mr Léon Blum
is invited by President Lebrun
to form a new cabinet,
Within hours, Mr Blum announces his cabinet,
including, for the first time, three women,
The Reds have turned tricolour!
''Tricolour Flag Flies Over Republic!''
''Homage to Rouget de Lisle.''
See? l was right.
The Revolution's nowhere near.
''We consider impossible
''any policy that, given the Nazi threat,
could jeopardize France's security.''
Bravo, gentlemen patriots!
And how about this?
''This is no time to take power.
Every strike must have its end.''
Bravo, Comrade Thorez!
Uncle Joe taught you well.
How do you know?.
Believe me. l'm well informed.
Soviet policy's shifting. lt doesn't bother us Whites, but...
l wonder how our neighbours upstairs explain this U-turn.
What about the strikes?
What do l think?
My Party has no hand in them.
They're a gut reaction by the workers.
But do you approve?
That's beside the point.
They're a fact. The Party must take note of it.
An embarrassing fact?
Like any unforeseen event, but politicians have to adapt.
l quite agree.
But as a citizen yourself, don't you have a gut reaction?
Of course. l react
with surprise and expectation.
No true Communist opposes the will of the oppressed.
Still, l was quite alarmed to see
Trotskyists and Pivertists proclaiming the French Revolution.
Why do you Communists oppose revolution?
We oppose an abortive revolution
that would surely end in repression,
snuffing out the fresh hope lit by the Popular Front.
When Trotsky says that to ally
with the Radicals against fascism is ''criminal and idiotic'',
l realize his mental faculties have dimmed.
He's the idiot,
blind to the changes wrought by fascism and nazism.
We Communists will link arms not only with Radicals and Socialists
but with all democrats. Petit-bourgeois, Catholics...
And Protestants, of course,
Muslims in the colonies...
even White Russians.
Yes, now they've disarmed.
Forgive me, but did you serve as a general?
ln the Civil War. l was 22.
A general at 20? That beats Napoleon.
But my career was shorter than his.
Had l turned Red,
l might be Commander in Chief by now,
like my classmate, Mikhail Nicolayevitch Tukhachevsky.
But l'm in exile,
a pen-pusher despite my bombastic title.
l was, and still am, at war with the Reds.
We disagree but life often throws us together.
Commander in Chief of the enemy army,
is a old friend of mine. My own brother served under him.
And fate has dealt you a Red neighbour in France.
l won't conceal
that part of my job is to prevent
Soviet agents from infiltrating us.
lt's no secret to anyone, least of all to your Party.
But nothing happens, anyway.
We no longer interest the Soviets.
You know what Dimitrov said last year?
''To us, the White Army is like a flea jumping 1 ,000 miles from an elephant.''
Our main concern is to prevent
a repeat of 6 years ago, when the Soviets kidnapped...
General Kutyepov, yes. But there's no proof that the USSR...
Let's not get into that. The fact is, Kutyepov disappeared.
He was popular and determined,
which l can't say of our incumbent chairman,
the innocuous General Dobrinsky.
THE SPANlSH REBELLlON
Everywhere, workers, youngsters
and women join forces
to quell the rebellion,
ln the Sierra de Guadarrama, Carlists and Republicans
The rebels try to take Madrid,
attacking from north and south to strangle it into submission,
but workers' militias foil the enemy
and control the key points of access to the capital,
Have you spotted Dani?
lt's typically her, pensive among playing children.
l'll show you something.
l'm not sure it's very like her.
lt's her exact expression.
A bit sad...
Not sad, pensive.
She's a very introverted child. You know that word?
ln Greek, esostrephis,
l understand. Eso, inward.
For once l understand modern Greek!
lt's yours if you like it.
But l'm not sure it'll fit among your Picassos...
lt will! l'm delighted.
l'll put it in her bedroom.
Come and see.
l thought l'd hang it here.
The colours go well with the room.
- l'll pay you for it. - Certainly not.
- A price between friends. - lt's a present.
- You had to buy materials. - You can buy the frame.
Let's have a drink.
...to save the Spanish Republic.
lt's now or never.
Shirking it now means war in two years.
lt's sad, us leftists quarrelling over Spain.
l hope your Russian friends aren't for intervening... on Franco's side.
l've no idea.
l've been too wrapped up in my painting to read the papers.
Hasn't your husband said anything?
He's very discreet. We seldom talk politics.
Also, he's been away a lot lately.
The Peace Rally unites hundreds of thousands
in their hatred for war and faith in peace,
Premier Léon Blum speaks,
To desire peace
is not only, on the brink of a great international crisis,
to cling stiffly on
in desperation to prevent mankind
from rolling into an abyss!
lt is something more,
lt is to pose as prerequisites
all the means and all the conditions of peace,
Send me a postcard?
- Good to see you! - You're in Paris?
Yes, l work as a taxi driver.
Arsinoé, meet my cousin, Prince Alexei Trofimovitch Cherepnin.
Pleased to meet you.
You're not getting away without lunch.
See, l make a decent living
but l'd rather be doing something more...
Can't you take me on the White Army staff?.
l'm afraid not.
Our Association's very poor.
We live mainly on treasure we brought out of Russia,
but poor Dobrinsky made some dire investments and we're almost broke.
Cheer up! Driving a taxi is as honourable
and less dull than pushing a pencil.
Maybe l should follow some of my friends
and join Franco's army.
l advise you not to.
He wants to fight for Franco.
Why not? Have you gone Communist?
l live in a Communist country, or almost.
l'm responsible for our Association.
Our host government opposes the Spanish nationalists,
without officially helping the Reds.
some of our Association disagree with me.
Dobrinsky wanted me to second Franco at Salamanca.
l refused. He gave in.
l'm gaining power over him.
They say he'll retire soon and you'll replace him.
lf l do, l'll give our venerable Association a thorough shake-up.
ln what way?
By flushing out nostalgic and revanchist sentiments.
Must we abandon our motherland to its fate?
What can we do?
But don't worry,
l still think Communism's a utopia,
bound to collapse from within.
The Bolsheviks won't go until it does.
They seem to be running out of steam,
or else wising up. World revolution is off their agenda.
Do you swallow what they say?
The thing is, they don't actually say it.
Did you read last week's L'Echo de Paris?
Those bogus Party orders to murder all officers on the big night?
''Big night,'' my foot!
You fell for it?
lt's a fake, planted by ultra-militarists
and Corvignolles agents.
The Cagoule's military wing, to be precise. Heard of it?
You seem well informed. Who told you?
l never name my sources.
And how do you know l'm not a Cagoule member?
lf you were, you wouldn't say.
Don't bet on it.
Sometimes it's wiser to be truthful than lie,
so you won't be believed. Don't you believe me?
You're right there!
l have to go.
Back to work. Taxi work.
Thank you very much for lunch.
See you soon.
Your cousin seems very curious.
lt's normal. He's briefing himself.
l have an exaggerated reputation for omniscience.
l like to lay the odd ''red herring'', as they say.
But not with him. He's too nice.
l pity him.
- He seems happy enough. - He has dignity.
He's not cut out for exile.
He's lucky he can drive a car.
lt's humiliating work for a prince
but Russians have a yen for humility.
Not me, though.
Thank God, l don't humiliate myself.
Nor do l give orders, at least not openly. l pull strings.
l know what you mean, but how?.
is a trade secret.
A state secret, even.
Can't you decide?
What is it?
l was thinking about what l said at lunch.
Your cousin wasn't all that curious.
lt was you who seemed... talkative.
l could have been shorter with him.
He's no humourist but he's a good fellow.
lt's not about him.
ln company, l learn things about you that you never told me.
For example, you wouldn't attend that conference in Spain.
Didn't l tell you?
l didn't think you'd care. l don't tell you everything.
You tell others more. Even our Communist neighbours.
Whites, Reds, they live for politics. You have your art.
l care about politics too, you know!
Which is why, when we speak Russian, l translate for you.
You discuss politics with me but not your politics.
l don't go in for politics.
So you have no state secrets?
Some. But as for the other...
Non-secrets? You don't tell me either!
l have to learn about them second-hand.
Your refusal to go to Spain.
l didn't think you'd be especially interested.
l said it before
and l'll say it again.
Excuse me, but it's not up to you to decide what interests me.
You confide more in strangers than in your own wife!
Would you want me to tell you everything?
Everything l can?
No, Fedya. l'm exaggerating.
But today l'll tell you something l've never said before.
lt may upset you.
We've never said a word against each other before.
You know how l love you
the way you are,
with your qualities and foibles, which everyone has.
The one thing that bothers me about you
and could slightly put me off you
is the way you try to justify your...
l think that's the word.
They're not lies, not even of omission, but...
you treat state secrets the same as common knowledge.
but only because l don't mind lying to others. To you, l mind.
You said just now you never lie.
l was joking.
ln my job, called euphemistically...
- You know that word? - Of course. lt's Greek.
''To embellish verbally''.
ln my job, called euphemistically ''intelligence'', not to say ''espionage'',
it's very hard to tell what's secret and what isn't,
so l can't always be frank about harmless things,
although l was frank with Alexei today.
You'll say l'm being tortuous again.
How can l put it more plainly?
l'm sworn to secrecy.
On some specific subjects, l don't speak so l can't lie.
But on others, where l'm not so tied,
l can't help telling little fibs.
To other people, l don't mind. But to you,
l always want
and always try to be completely honest.
Why close it?
Let the spring air in!
Not now. l'm cold.
You've got your cardigan.
l think l've picked up a fever. l'll take my temperature.
l think you've lost weight.
As always, in spring.
More than usual.
You should see the doctor.
l can't see much wrong with you but...
still, that fever worries me.
You should take some precautions.
What did the doctor say?
l'm better, but still fragile and prone to infection.
We must watch you. Did he give you a tonic?
He says ideally we'd live in the country.
Somewhere sunny near Paris would do.
They're either lower-class and grim or expensive.
Come to think of it,
Boris has an empty house in Maisons-Laffitte.
He wants to do it up but hasn't the time or maybe the money.
- You think it's habitable? - For us? Maybe, yes.
- Good journey? - Fine.
A bit decrepit.
The glass won't fall out!
Please, come in.
There are some leaks,
hence the basins.
But they're only a few drops.
A place to paint...
Bedrooms are upstairs.
The shutters are closed. We'll go up later.
Here's the kitchen.
The gas and running water just need turning on.
So? Do you like it?
lt's too beautiful! lt's unreal.
A fairy tale.
But l'm not sure we can accept.
Do you like it?
Like it? Of course, but...
No buts. Accept or we'll be upset.
You can stay for two years, three if you like.
l have plans to turn the place into a horse stud,
but not right away.
So, we move out of Paris.
The rent we pay now will go to you, but it's paltry.
So paltry that you needn't bother.
- l'd feel embarrassed otherwise. - Don't.
You're doing me a favour.
Your being here is worth more to me than rent.
Never leave a house empty, right?
You're well set up!
l love how you've arranged the furniture.
Don't you feel cut off and bored?
People will visit us.
Not everyone has a car like me.
The train station is nearby.
Besides, l'm completely wrapped up in my painting.
l've found lots of pretty places in the country around here.
Fyodor! That's him to a T.
l don't miss other people
except a few good friends like you,
but Fedya's away too much these days.
He was seen in Berlin.
Some time ago. November.
l don't see... You're sure it was Berlin?
My brother-in-law lgor saw him. He lives there.
Yes, but did he speak to him?
He saw him through a café window.
lt wasn't him.
He was talking to someone in the street and stopped outside the café.
lgor recognized him.
Fedya took a trip in November, but it was to Brussels.
He even sent me a card!
Brussels is on the way to Berlin.
l'm sorry. l talk too much.
l've upset you. Look, lgor could have been wrong.
Fedya's entitled to go to Berlin without telling me.
He's discreet about his work and that's fine.
He has to keep things quiet. l'd rather not know.
Well, he was doing nothing unusual.
That pleads in his favour.
ln his favour? What do you mean?
l didn't want to say it,
but you should be prepared for certain rumours.
Some say he's a Communist sympathizer.
- lt's only a rumour. - Absurd!
He sees Reds to get information.
l know you're right.
But White Russian circles are so prone to spy fever!
When Fyodor's seen entering a ministry in Berlin...
Some official building with an endless German name.
But you know,
it could actually help to dispel the rumours.
Especially as some officers
were angry that he didn't go to Salamanca.
but only to avoid offending the French Government,
which barely tolerates us.
but although Boris is in industry now, he still sees old comrades
who can't hold their tongues.
They say Dobrinsky's retiring soon
and Fyodor is tipped to succeed him.
There's bound to be jealousy.
Arsinoé, have you seen my bag?
There it is.
l'm going to Belgium for a few days.
- Like in November? - Yes, to Brussels.
Then l'll come home.
Who said that?
Maguy, the other day.
What a gossip! Who told her? Only Dobrinsky and l knew.
Her brother-in-law saw you.
True, he lives in Berlin. He could've said hello.
You were with someone. Then you went into a ministry.
- Which one? - She doesn't know.
ls that all?
- You look upset. - lt was a top secret job!
- Too secret to tell your little wife? - Let alone others!
- They already know. - Not the wrong people, l hope.
l'll get Boris to make his wife pipe down!
lf it's not too late.
This time, don't say l'm not confiding in you.
No, don't if it's a secret.
l won't tell you everything.
The Association needs money.
Our treasury's half gone.
Some German firms helped us
but now all money movements are subject to Nazi state approval.
l was seeking it when l was seen, regrettably.
We mustn't appear to be close to the Nazis.
Rich? l think not. The Left's in power here.
Maguy told me something else.
You're a suspected Communist spy.
Now it's my turn to laugh.
Call me a double agent, even a triple one!
Everything l do is to support White Army veterans.
lt's not easy work.
Having to act friendly with both sides takes cunning.
l'm a soldier. l learned cunning in the field.
l play it like a chess game, where you have to hide your moves.
lt's less noble than soldiering but not subservient.
l'm not a lackey like a taxi driver, salesman or clerk.
l don't strut on the world stage but l'm well placed behind the scenes.
l get a better view into the hearts of governments
than journalists whose job it is.
Like them, or even more so,
l don't just observe.
l act. lndirectly, but the information l exchange
with people who directly influence events
can be decisive.
You think l'm delirious? l'm not,
but the thought of having all this... power
yes, my power,
makes my head spin.
l have much more responsibility than dear General Dobrinsky imagines.
l have to take decisions affecting the balance of power
in Europe and even the world!
You think l'm exaggerating? Hardly.
Listen to this. The other day, while conversing...
politely with a top official from a nearby country,
l instinctively evaded a seemingly harmless question,
sensing that my reply was of vital interest to his government.
What interest, l don't know,
but l felt l was being manoeuvred and l balked,
at the risk of endangering my mission.
l've never seen you so elated.
Talk, if it relieves you.
Will you forgive me? l was only half listening.
l prefer not to know too much.
l know your work is dangerous.
l fear for you, but... l prefer not to think about it.
You could be in danger too, if you knew too much.
Who'd know that l knew?.
lt would get around.
Someone could ask you an innocent question.
You'd answer in all innocence, but unwittingly
give away some less innocent detail.
- Who would be asking me? - Anyone.
- Your Communist friends, for instance. - They're not spies!
Not as such, but they could pass the word to less naive listeners.
- l shan't tell them about Berlin. - l should hope not!
Or that you stayed away from Franco.
You can. Everybody knows.
And l'll carry on seeing them.
l want to ask Jeanine to lunch on Thursday.
On the train, l read an interview with Maurice Thorez.
''We love France.
''We staunchly support peace and concord.
''Given the events in Spain, we reject
''the prospect of two blocs implacably opposed to each other.
''The Communist Party initiated the Popular Front
''to combine the forces of the proletariat
and the middle classes.''
See? lt's clear.
lt's the Fascists who want war and strife, not us.
Don't you agree?
Yes, l believe you.
Does your husband?
Well, l don't know. We don't talk politics much.
He doesn't seem to believe in the Red Peril.
Because he thinks Stalin no longer wants to export the Revolution,
and the French Communists obey his every word.
Nonsense! That's right-wing talk.
ln a blindfolded world, Stalin sees clearly
and so do we.
We believe the Revolution can wait.
The priority now is to combat Fascism
and we need everyone's help.
You look distracted. Do you really disagree?
Sorry. l was listening, but...
your words reminded me of something irrelevant.
Go on, l'm listening. l'm interested.
Picasso has decorated the Spanish pavilion at the World's Fair
with a big mural showing the German bombing of a Spanish village.
He's thrilled to see a great modern artist
committing himself to the fight against Fascism.
THE WORLD'S FAlR
Paris Expo '37 gathers speed,
The German pavilion is inaugurated
by Dr Schacht, the Development Minister,
l hope this exhibition, with Germany's participation,
will help to strengthen the ties between our peoples,
The USSR pavilion is inaugurated by Mr Hirschfeld,
the Soviet chargé d'affaires,
attended by Mr Dormoy,
Mr Zay, Education Minister,
and Mr Chautemps, Minister of State,
The Spanish pavilion displays a work by the cubist artist, Pablo Picasso,
inspired by the bombing of Guernica,
Moscow, June 1 2th,
Tukhachevsky and Seven Generals To Be Executed Tonight
You knew Marshal Tukhachevsky well.
We were army cadets together
but the Revolution parted us. He joined the enemy.
Still, l respect him.
He's very upright, almost too uncompromising.
You think the charges were all trumped up?
Such a man would never consort with the Nazis.
Quite the opposite.
He wasn't eliminated just for personal reasons.
l knew him as a so-called hawk,
eager to attack Hitler before he rebuilt the German army.
So Stalin's a dove?
Just now, yes. l doubt he'll start the hostilities.
Are you sure?
Positive. He doesn't feel strong enough yet.
So why are the French Communists
so violently against pacifists such as Emery and Bergery?
Because the views from Paris and Moscow are different.
Stalin doesn't want war but he'd happily push others into it.
He'll help the West if the West goes first
but l'll bet my boots he won't start it himself.
So why's he sending
volunteers and aircraft to Spain?
First, because the Fascists
and Nazis went in first.
But second, for the ltalians, Germans and Soviets,
Spain isn't so much a battlefield
as a training ground where you size up your opponent
and you don't care who wins.
l'd even say these interventions are a sham,
designed to hoodwink Western opinion.
- To hide what he's up to. - Which is?
That, l wish l knew!
Bravo! You got me.
- ln fact, you know no more than l. - l do.
l'm telling the naked truth.
You complicate things at will.
- l hope you like this. - l'm sure you'll love it.
What's it called?
Aren't you hungry?
l think l should see the doctor again.
He'll say nothing new.
l think your condition needs specialist care.
l'll make inquiries.
l don't really trust French doctors.
France is way behind in medicine.
You're not suggesting we go to America?
No, another country.
Can't you guess?
The USSR, if you prefer.
Russian medicine is even ahead of the USA.
My son told me. He's studying it there.
Even so, how would l get to Russia?
- Why would they take me? - l'll go with you.
They'd accept us even less. What is this wild idea?
Not so wild.
Politics have changed.
Not for you. Stalin's executing all the generals.
Dead men need replacing.
l don't like your joking, especially about that.
l'm not joking. Would you want me to?
l'm deadly serious.
Then you're crazy.
Everybody is, starting with the Soviets.
That's why they'll accept me. l've been told about it.
Specific things that will soon be more specific.
But even if they accept you, you won't accept them.
lf there's war, you won't change sides.
Yes, l will.
lf there's war, l'm bound to be on France's side,
which Russia will join, as it can't stay neutral.
You don't think l'd fight for Mr Hitler, do you?
l don't like the Germans. l've never relied on them.
Unlike Dobrinsky, who expects them to help us.
They don't give a damn about us.
They like us as little as the Soviets fear us,
which is not a jot.
At a pinch, they'd have given us some sorely needed funding
if we'd agreed to do them some menial favours
in the spying department at its vilest level,
but we refused,
at least l refused.
You remember l went to Berlin to see the German spymaster, Heydrich?
What did l refuse to tell him?
Things about my classmate Tukhachevsky,
whom l'd met secretly in Paris
on his way to the King of England's funeral.
Of course he wasn't candid
but his guarded remarks led me to a few conclusions.
The Gestapo must have heard we met,
since Heydrich casually probed me about it.
l answered evasively,
he bestowed a look of ice on me,
and we left it at that.
We won't be seeing those funds in a hurry!
But why did Mr Heydrich want such information?
Presumably, the Germans were keen to compromise the Red Army chief,
knowing Stalin was down on him. But l'm only guessing.
l disliked the man's arrogance. l don't like Nazis.
l don't like their grubby, grasping vulgarity.
lf l have to choose sides, l won't choose the Huns for anything.
l'm a Russian first.
lf l have to fight abroad, l'll serve only my country.
What is it, Arsinushka? Are you crying?
l'm not crying.
You've no idea how happy l am.
l was so scared you were a Nazi.
That was my worst fear!
- Have your Red friends converted you? - l love you!
lf l had to choose, l wouldn't hesitate either.
They haven't converted me.
But l've realized from living next to them
that they're well-meaning people who sincerely want peace.
Sincere, l agree, but gullible.
Aren't you gullible too?
lsn't it all too good to be true?
Maybe l'm gullible too, but...
l'll risk it.
ln all modesty, l think l've always had a flair,
a skill for sniffing out and separating true from false.
Here's what l've been offered,
and l think it's perfectly plausible.
l've been offered...
and not by some low-ranking operative...
l have every reason to believe it comes from high authority,
indeed the highest of all.
You don't have to believe me. Never mind.
What is this offer?
To be reinstated in the army with my rank of general, no less!
My remark about the purges wasn't a tasteless joke.
The Red Army is short of experienced officers.
With none left in Russia, they have to look elsewhere.
They're inviting me to run an army staff college.
lf it's true, it's wonderful.
The only thing that could stop me accepting is...
Yes, it's you.
l'm still dazed.
Let me think.
l'm not against the offer, if it's genuine.
l hope to have proof of it soon.
But also, life in Russia will upset your habits.
l haven't got any.
My habits are you.
As long as l'm with you...
Life won't be too bad.
We'll be better off than we were in Paris.
Under the Soviets, it's shocking but true,
there are privileged people, which will include us.
l'll have a big salary
and a decent sized house on the Black Sea,
where the climate's as mild as the Riviera. Sound good?
l don't know.
Giving ourselves trussed and tied to the Soviets
is very risky. lt scares me.
But can't you see the risks in France?
The real risk to your health
and others, more nebulous but very possible?
l'm a fly in the ointment. l'm at risk...
from Soviets, Nazis, all kinds of Fascists and soon,
l'm afraid above all, the French Government.
l could be arrested, kidnapped like Kutyepov,
assassinated at any time.
Quite frankly, l'd feel rather safer in Russia.
Poor Tukhachevsky, rest his soul, got what he deserved.
He tried to thwart his boss and came unstuck. lt's natural.
l'll simply be an executive,
serving my motherland against external threats.
BOMB BLASTS lN PARlS
The Employers Federation building on Rue de Presbourg
was partially wrecked by a time bomb,
A few hundred metres away,
on Rue Boissière,
a similar device exploded
almost simultaneously at the Allied Metal lndustries HQ,
Two police officers died in the blasts,
l think l can wear this
on Sunday evening.
- And for Wednesday's cocktail party? - l've got nothing.
- Have one made. - No time.
Yes! Order it on Saturday, it'll be ready for Wednesday.
We'd have to spend four days in Paris.
Would you mind?
l have shopping to do and people to see.
Who'd plant those bombs except the Communists?
Rightist provocation? Too far-fetched.
Maurras says it's the Government,
smearing the Fascists and its Communist pals in one go.
lt's too Machiavellian.
l don't like Blum but l can't see him doing a thing like that.
What do you think, General?
Nothing. l'm neither a policeman nor a prophet.
But let me say that journalists
tend to put their own ideas before the facts,
which often belie them.
- l'm a journalist. - l know.
With Candide, Jean Rochereau.
Pleased to meet you.
These facts. Where and how can they be found?
Do you have a hunch?
l'm just curious. Off the record.
l know, but as l said,
l don't read the stars or coffee grounds.
My wife and l are delighted to join the party.
lt doesn't look swollen.
Does it hurt when l press?
lt's deeper. A shooting pain.
You may have pinched a nerve.
l'll get you an aspirin. A good night's sleep will do it.
My dress isn't ready?
You said late morning.
Two o'clock, then.
Two o'clock is too late!
l have important phone calls to make after lunch.
Let's eat now, then l'll drop you off and you can wait.
l'm sorry we're early, but... l was in the area.
My wife has a painful foot and can't walk far alone.
lt will take a good hour.
l'll make my phone calls from the local post office
and be back in an hour,
- a good hour. - See you later.
So, is the dress ready?
l'm still waiting.
lt's ready for fitting.
l'll keep it on, then.
We'll remove the threads.
The hat goes well. How about some shoes?
- l like these. - They're getting worn.
My foot still hurts. l'd rather not change now.
At the hotel, you'll have time to rest.
The cocktail party's at 5
but l want to be there early, as l'm representing our Division.
The other generals are all abroad.
Won't Dobrinsky be there?
No, l doubt it.
He's got a very busy day today.
The officers from Brussels are here.
l'm touched. You came specially from Brussels.
May we pay our respects to General Dobrinsky?
l'm afraid he may not be able to come
and even if he does, it won't be before 8.
That's a pity. We have to catch the train.
But he lives nearby. We can call on his wife.
Coming to call on Mme Dobrinsky?
- Will it take long? - We'll just look in.
The men from Brussels have a train to catch.
Then l'd rather stay here.
l hope l wasn't gone too long.
- Ready to go home? - Yes, if you don't mind.
l'll come too.
My aide will see to the remaining guests.
l think l've got myself into a mess.
But we were together. What could you have done?
l shouldn't be telling you, but...
l'm afraid you might be questioned unprepared.
Questioned about what?
How we spent the day.
l know very well how we spent it.
lt's ages since l had a whole day out with you.
lt was a marvellous day.
l don't want anything to spoil it.
What is it?
l'm afraid Dobrinsky's disappeared.
What do you mean?
Plain disappeared. l don't know where he is.
Wasn't he at home?
No, but he was out late, anyway.
l'm afraid he's been kidnapped.
Who told you? How do you know?.
We didn't see him all day.
While l was at the dressmaker... Did you meet him?
- Where? - Near here.
Didn't he come?
Did he come?
He was kidnapped from under your eyes?
Exactly. He got in a car which sped off.
- You let it go? - l wasn't going to chase it!
But you let him get in?
You, wary and shrewd as you are?
- Who was in the car? - Two Germans.
- l thought you fell out with them. - They were fake Germans.
So they were Russians?
Your new masters!
And poor General Dobrinsky, who trusted you, fell in the trap.
Me too. l was fooled!
Do you swear?
On your son's life?
Leave him out. l refuse to swear on an innocent person.
Why, if you're innocent?
On principle. And l'm not completely innocent.
l was careless.
lt's between you and your conscience. l'm not your confessor.
But l'll tell you this.
You say you broke off with the Nazis
but l'm not accepting any favours from the Bolsheviks
who mounted such a dirty trick.
l refuse to buy that favour
with the life of the leader you ignobly betrayed!
l'd rather die here...
and watch my lungs and bones rot...
than be cured there, at that price, if l could.
l can believe you were fooled, for all your cleverness.
l can understand but not forgive it, if you betrayed him for me.
As l said, that's between you and your conscience.
But l refuse, at any price, to profit from these crimes.
Don't expect me to set foot in Russia now, ever!
Our dream's dead, anyway. l have no illusions.
Tell me one thing.
While you waited for your dress, did anyone enter the room?
from the moment you left until you returned.
Except the seamstress,
who came through to fetch something or other.
But she didn't look.
l won't say you went out. ls that the idea?
l don't fully understand.
You left, saying you'd be back at once.
Not at once.
You had an hour to wait.
- An hour's not long. - lt's ample.
Dobrinsky had to meet a man covertly to pick up an envelope.
He wanted me to accompany him.
As you'd be at the dressmaker's,
l suggested Ranelagh Gardens,
halfway between there and the Dobrinskys'.
You didn't have to come with me.
l'd promised. The rendezvous was set yesterday.
For such important business, l'd have understood...
lt wasn't meant to be important. l didn't mind.
No, it suited you. lt gave you a good alibi.
Why should l have needed one? Believe me!
Let me explain!
Explain. l won't say another word.
l took the métro. We met at La Muette station.
We walked to the Gardens in barely five minutes.
On Rue d'Andigné, we found our contact
waiting in a comfortable chauffeur-driven Panhard.
The German said the man with the envelope
had moved the rendezvous to the Bois de Boulogne,
three minutes' drive away.
l couldn't show any suspicion or the deal would be off.
Besides, Dobrinsky had no hesitation
in trusting this polite German with his aristocratic elegance,
and got into the front seat.
l reached for the back door handle. lt was locked.
The German said ''Wait, l'll open it from inside.''
By now, the driver had the engine running,
but that was normal.
The German walks round the car
and gets in at the back, slamming the far door shut.
As he pretends to lean over to open the near door,
the car roars off down the empty street.
Who had the envelope?
Didn't l tell you?
The agent of a right-wing anti-Nazi German industrialist
was to leave it on a bench.
We'd arrive, he'd stand up, we'd take it and go.
All done in what, five minutes? Ten at the most.
Add it up. The métro there and back, 30-40 minutes.
The walk to the Gardens, say 12 minutes
plus 10 to collect the envelope, makes...
40 plus 12, 52, plus 10, 62. Just over an hour at the most.
And the fake German?
Where did he come from?
Strictly speaking, he wasn't a fake. He was...
Col. Werner von Nussdorf,
a former military attaché at the embassy, disgraced
for political reasons.
He can't possibly be working for the Nazis.
And what would they gain from it?
What would the Russians gain?
l can't see that either.
That's why l wasn't suspicious.
Do another Kutyepov?
lt's like chess. The stupidest moves are the hardest to beat.
Anyone can lose to a beginner.
Like me, remember?
But they're not beginners.
What threat could poor Dobrinsky pose?
Then maybe it wasn't a kidnapping.
Dobrinsky wanted you out of his way and gave you the slip.
lt's not his style.
lt was the Soviets.
But why, for God's sake? lt makes no sense.
Parade him in Russia, saying he retired to the Soviet paradise?
He'd never say it, even under torture.
Replace him with a lookalike?
Create a fake general, photograph and film him?
Easy! We Russians have good actors.
Summon the press, hey presto!
And you laugh.
Because it's grotesque! As grotesque as the kidnapping itself.
Do you think l'd lend myself to such a farrago?
lt's so gross, l never imagined it possible.
Any faint doubts l may have had on the way,
l quickly dismissed.
l wasn't particularly wary.
No more wary than usual. Well, a tiny bit more.
l admit l made an unforgivable mistake.
l thought ''Whatever will be, will be.''
l should never say that.
Dobrinsky's been irritating me
with his pro-German sympathies, among other things.
l often think to myself, with shame, but still...
''To hell with him.
''Let him fall sick. Let him die,
so we can finally be rid of him.''
They're disgraceful thoughts but only thoughts.
l suppose everyone has them.
Except you maybe, saint that you are.
Don't you believe it.
l sometimes have thoughts that...
l had one today, coming out of the métro with Dobrinsky.
Crossing the street, he was almost run over.
l held him back but the thought flashed through my mind,
''That was close. Almost good riddance!''
Are you appalled?
l understand you.
- That's not the point. - But there is no point.
l can't see any point in kidnapping Dobrinsky.
My megalomania isn't all in the mind.
l was much more dangerous than him. ls it me they want to compromise?
l know things they wish l didn't. Who do l mean by ''they''?
Call me paranoid, but it's no underling. lt's someone very high up.
The more l consider it,
the more l think this lunatic stunt
must be the work of the cleverest,
most highly placed, far-sighted people.
lt's no minor affair.
lt's part of Soviet global strategy and probably Nazi, too.
We can't see the wood for the trees.
You mean Hitler and Stalin...
lt's insane! Why? What for?
Your mind's been twisted by consorting with spies and plotters.
Europe's two strongest leaders are old hands at plots
and very twisted ones!
- Who is it? - Tchernov.
Piotr Pavlovitch, what's going on?
Sorry to bother you. Gen. Dobrinsky's disappeared.
Disappeared? What do you mean?
He didn't come home.
His wife called Galinin, who's waiting for you at the office.
No need for your car. l have a taxi.
l'll get dressed.
Wait for me in the taxi.
- Are they suspicious? - No, but...
l'm his deputy. They'd naturally tell me first.
We're sorry to get you up in the dead of night,
but do you know where General Dobrinsky is?
l've no idea.
l gather his wife is looking for him.
He told me he'd be very busy today.
When did he tell you that?
You haven't seen him today?
Not today. l haven't been to the office.
didn't you arrange to meet him outside?
At one o'clock?
At one, l was with my wife at her dressmaker's.
did you arrange to meet him at 1 :00 at La Muette métro station?
What makes you think that?
Dobrinsky left this note on his desk.
''Today at one p.m.
''l have an appointment with Voronin
''at La Muette station.
''We are to meet a German officer named Werner,
''attached to the German Embassy.
''was Voronin's idea.
''lt may conceivably be a trap.
l am leaving this note, just in case.''
Do you recognize his handwriting?
l think it's a forgery.
And there's a spelling mistake here.
lt can't be Dobrinsky. lt's clearly a forgery.
Forgery or not,
it will have to be shown to the police.
l agree. l'll come with you.
Vladimir Petrovitch, please.
What is it?
You saw how he flinched when you said one o'clock?
Keep a close eye on him.
He may be less cocky towards the police.
He just left. Waiting downstairs, presumably.
Why is there no light?
Strange. lt was working just now.
Let's use our lighters.
l'll go first.
He's not anywhere on the street.
He could be as far as the Champs-Elysées!
See? l was suspicious for good reason!
lf you hadn't kept me back we'd have caught him!
Perhaps he's gone back to the hotel.
l'll get a taxi.
- Fedya? ls that you? - Captain Tchernov.
One moment, please.
ls he back? We're looking for him.
- He went with you. - Yes, to the office,
but then he disappeared.
He wasn't on the stairs or the street.
So you suspect him. Otherwise he wouldn't have fled.
Be careful. He could shoot himself!
But he's done nothing!
We were together all day.
Even at 1 p.m.?
l was at my dressmaker's.
lt's the truth!
The seamstress said Fyodor didn't stay in the waiting room,
...but he wasn't there.
He went out and came back a full hour later,
...a full hour later.
l even heard him come in. l can testify to it.
No trace of Voronin or Dobrinsky was ever found,
Arsinoé muddled up her alibis,
A Czech passport in the couple's name was found in their house,
Charged with complicity
despite flimsy evidence, she received a heavy prison sentence,
...guilty of complicity in the kidnapping of General Dobrinsky.
ln prison, her bone tuberculosis grew worse,
On September 9th 1940 her left foot was amputated
and she died a month later,
The startling news of a pact between Nazi Germany
and Soviet Russia leaves the democracies stunned
and appalled at the signatories' duplicity,
Come in, please.
Good morning, General.
We have arrested Mr Semenov, your landlord,
for black marketeering.
ln our search, we also discovered
that he was spying for the Soviets.
We found these two plans,
of your offices and his apartment below.
See these marks?
They show the location of...
Leutnant, stop working for a moment.
Will you follow me downstairs?
You too, Commissaire.
- Leutnant!. Can you hear me? - Yes.
Say a few words to your men.
Can you hear?
Every word spoken upstairs was reported to the Soviet Embassy
at least until the war,
when our man switched to black marketeering.
His big mistake!
That explains it all. Remember the Voronin case?
The spy who kidnapped Gen. Dobrinsky? You think he hid here?
Semenov was listening in and let him in to hide.
Or Voronin knocked on his door.
Let's check something. Come here.
See? lt cuts off the electricity in the stairs.
l see. The lights were out when we came down
to hinder our pursuit.
l'd never have suspected Mr Semenov. He was very discreet.
ln his business, they usually are.
When we went to report to the police,
he must have run to the Soviet Embassy for refuge.
And from then on...
From then on, it's a big mystery
but l have my pet theory.
l took seriously, unlike many,
a story printed in Gringoire magazine in October '37,
just three weeks after the kidnapping:
The Soviets took him to Marseilles
and shipped him with a group of lnternational Brigades to Barcelona.
There, he was held in the OGPU detention centre
where Andréas Nin, the anti-Stalin Communist, was murdered.
Voronin must have met the same fate. Liquidated.
A blown agent, he was no more use to anyone.
Unless he was taken to Moscow and killed there.
Or simply in the embassy cellars. Whatever, it's a sad story.
Such a brilliant man.
Dead or alive, l feel sorry for him
and sorrier still for his charming wife, Arsinoé.
She was jailed in all innocence, l believe.
ls she still in prison?
No, she died.
Subtitles by Nigel Palmer
Processed by B.B. COM - Paris Ripped by Ingolf 2004
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