In the wake of the Allied invasion of Normandy, US soldier Saul (Usual Suspect Gabriel Byrne) meets Belle, alleged to be a Nazi collaborator. He offers to stay in her cottage as Résistance accusers circle. The tragic tale of moral ambiguity during wartime was adapted from a novel by Kiwi MK Joseph. Filmed in France in 1988, director Larry Parr’s feature debut was troubled by the withdrawal of a French partner and bankruptcy of the US distributor; after film festival showings it screened on NZ television in 1995. French actor Marianne Basler won a 1992 NZ Film Award as Belle.
A Soldier's Tale is a storyteller's film, where narrative and characterisation take precedence over pretensions and special effects. Best of all is Alun Bollinger's cinematography. It captures the splendour of the French countryside and jarringly juxtaposes it with the grim life-and-death scenarios being played out within it.– Reviewer Phil Wakefield , The Evening Post, 19 February 1991
Mirage Entertainment Corporation
Atlantic Entertainment Group
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata