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by Jean Becker


Every Sunday, it’s always the same old story: Lucien, 14, can’t understand why his father, a serious and respected teacher, makes a fool of himself by dressing up as a clown and giving a show. André, Lucien’s father’s best friend, feels for the teenager and decides to reveal something from their mutual past that will explain the reason for Lucien’s father’s strange behavior. At the end of World War Two, both men, in a “fit of patriotism” committed a pathetic act of resistance and got caught at it by the Germans. These would-be heroes became German hostages and were thrown into a "dungeon", along with other sorry companions, where they waited to be shot.

international title: Strange Gardens
original title: Effroyables Jardins
country: France
sales agent: UGC International
year: 2003
genre: fiction
directed by: Jean Becker
film run: 95'
release date: FR 26/03/2003, CH 26/03/2003, BE 02/04/2003, UK 30/01/2004
screenplay: Sébastien Japrisot
cast: Jacques Villeret, André Dussollier, Thierry Lhermitte, Benoît Magimel, Isabelle Candelier
cinematography by: Jean-Marie Dreujou
film editing: Jacques Witta
art director: Bruno Margery, Thérèse Ripaud
costumes designer: Sylvie de Segonzac
music: Zbigniew Preisner
producer: Louis Becker
production: Ice 3, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, Canal+, France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, UGC Images
backing: Centre National de la Cinématographie
distributor: UGC Distribution, JMH Distribution (CH), Les Films de l'Elysée (BE), Capers Mat Cine (UK)
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