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J'accuse An Officer And A Spy

In 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, captain in the French army, is found guilty of high treason for passing military secrets to the German Empire. He is degraded and condemned to exile on Devil's Island; his affair triggers a noticeable echo in France since Dreyfus is Jewish. One year later, officer Georges Picquart, former superior of Dreyfus himself, is appointed head of the secret service section in the French army (Deuxième Bureau). The man, despite alleged anti-Semitic sentiments, is aware that the trial against Dreyfus was rather summary and biased by his origin; therefore, noticing some irregularities in the dossier of the affair, he decides to conduct an investigation to verify the man's guilt. Picquart discovers that the so-called bordereau, the document that would prove his guilt, was not written by Dreyfus, as the graphologist Alphonse Bertillon had declared, but by another soldier: Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. According to Picquart, he is the real spy, but the evidence has been prejudiced or even falsified to the detriment of Dreyfus.

J'accuse An Officer And A Spy

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After the conviction of Dreyfus, however, Picquart discovered that the handwriting on the bordereau in fact belonged to another officer, Captain Ferdinand W. Esterhazy (Laurent Natrella), who continued spying for Germany until he finally had to flee to England in disgrace.

Above all, Dujardin, normally a comic actor, gives an extraordinary performance as the straight-laced Picquart. A cultured man, who attended classical music concerts and met couriers giving him classified documents in front of statues at the Louvre, Picquart overcame the personal anti-Semitic prejudices he shared with virtually the entire officer corps, fighting with courage and principle. Hauled before the general staff and accused of abetting a Jewish plot to destroy Esterhazy, he told his superiors their investigation was a farce and walked out, slamming the door in their faces.

In 1895, French army officer Marie-Georges Picquart (Jean Dujardin) is appointed chief of the army's intelligence section (Deuxième Bureau, service de renseignement militaire). He discovers that doctored evidence was used to convict Alfred Dreyfus (Louis Garrel), one of the few Jewish members of the French Army's general staff (in which antisemitic conspiracy theories abound), of passing military secrets to Imperial Germany.

The resignations come just two weeks before the awards, which will feature 12 nominations for An Officer And A Spy, Polanski's film about a Jewish French officer accused of spying for Germany in the 1890s. 041b061a72


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