And here we have the two Frenchmen who stumble out of the dark. And it’s none other than Ramballe, the French officer who befriended Pierre in the occupation of Moscow.

However, most of the attention is on Ramballe’s singing offsider. In fact, the rest of the chapter is pretty much a bad round of karaoke, but the important point is that it’s a non-hostile encounter between the French and the Russians – so rare throughout this book.

Thus, it’s not surprise that in the Bondarchuk film, this little throwaway moment becomes a musical highlight of the film, as the voices of several soldiers swells to become a mighty chorus, overlaid over images of the surrendering French.

One thought on “One-Year War and Peace 15.9 – Another Reunion

  1. I actually find this simple little scene with its little badly sung song to be, for me, one of the most moving moments in the whole book – and it was certainly one of the most powerful scenes in the Bondarchuk film, too. It was just a simple, good-hearted, profound expression of common humanity – something so immensely important and significant after all the death and horror that these men have experienced at each other’s hands. And then, of course, the sky and stars appears again with all its grandeur – as if, in a way, the universe itself is joining in the song. I just love it!!

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