Le petit soldat

Le petit soldat (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)

In this crazy but passionate attempt to watch the entire films of Jean-Luc Godard I decided to not pass over any of his films. Even the ones consider of second order, or as in french we say it "films de moindre importance". Well, Le petit soldat is the second feature film by the Enfant Terrible of the Nouvelle Vague. Due to censorship it was only released in 1963 but shot in 1960.

The story is about a young frenchman Bruno (Michel Subor) a right-wing terrorist falling in love with a left-wing terrorist danish girl named Veronica Dreyer (Anna Karina) during the Algerian War for independance. Even if this is the little brother of À bout de souffle, Le petit soldat never has this fresh off-beat light but sad young breath. It should not be regarded as the following film of Godard, and maybe it was a good thing it did not came out after the buzz around of À bout de souffle. Well, it did not did much in theaters and is often forgotten in Godard's oeuvre.

Le petit soldat was the beginning of many long term collaborations for Godard's films; Anna Karina (lead actress, who will be his wife for six years), Suzanne Schiffman (Script-girl), and Laszlo Szabo(actor). Also, the work of Raoul Coutard is once again very interesting.

I, somehow, managed to love the film even if its romantized right-extremist message reflects how Godard just liked to be counter-current in his early films. This is one of his qualities/bad habits, he get something out just to make people react and be cynical. To many, with Le petit soldat he did too much...

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