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Award-Winning 2005 Christmas Film
to Conclude Fall Film Series

RELEASED: Dec. 4, 2007

Joyeux Noël posterEAU CLAIRE — "Joyeux Noël" ("Merry Christmas"), an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film of 2005, will conclude the fall semester of the campus film series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Dec. 13-16. The trilingual pan-European production will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday in Davies Theatre.

Diane Krüger, Benno Fürmann, Daniel Brühl, Guillaume Canet and Alex Ferns head an international cast, all speaking their own languages, in a powerful film inspired by authentic incidents from the first year of World War I.

On Christmas Eve 1914, the first Christmas of "the war to end all wars," troops in many places along the front line declared a truce and left their rifles at the bottom of their trenches in a spontaneous expression of humanity. Most of the fraternizing that took place came about through music and song. In "Joyeux Noël," the catalyst is provided by Nikolaus Sprink (Fürmann), a celebrated German tenor who was called into service despite his fame; and his singing partner, Danish soprano Anna Sorenson (Krüger), who ingeniously makes her way to the battlefield.

Salon.com called the film "supernally lovely and supremely old-fashioned ... Trapped in the gruesome trenches of what would soon be recognized as the worst (and perhaps most pointless) slaughter the world had yet seen, ordinary German, French and British soldiers crossed the lines at Christmas to drink, hold musical recitals, swap stories and photos, play soccer and generally ignore the orders of the despots and generals at the rear."

"'Joyeux Noël' is gritty and disturbing with its extended scenes of war and destruction. It also is emotional, even a touch sentimental," wrote Claudia Puig in USA Today, who called it "a particularly potent holiday film."

Written and directed by Christian Carion, the 116-minute film is rated PG-13.

Admission is $2 for International Film Society members and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff and $1 for UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby and will be sold at the door.

The film is sponsored by the University Activities Commission of the Student Senate.

-30-

JS/NW

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