Calm at Sea

TitleCalm at Sea
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSchöndorff, Volker
Running Time90 minutes
DistributorCorinth Films
CountryUnited States
Publication LanguageFrench, German

Based on a true story, Calm at Sea explores how prisoners of war live with impending death in Nazi-occupied France. After three Communists assassinate a German officer in Nantes in 1941, Hitler orders the death of 150 prisoners, including 17 year old Guy Môquet whose letter to his parents became a powerful tool of memory in postwar France. The film also focuses on how German officers at Châteaubriant, an internment camp, wrestle with their orders to show how they lose their moral compass during war. 


Léo Paul Salmain

Ulrich Matthes

Marc Barbé

Martin Loizillon

Sébastien Accart

Jean-Pierre Daroussin


Produced by Bruno Petit

Directed and Written by Volker Schlöndorff

Cinematography by Lubomir Bakchev

Edited by Susanne Hartmann

Music by Bruno Coulais



Translated TitleThe Sea At Dawn
Original PublicationLa Mer à l'aube
Full Text

Screenwriters used archival research, including diaries, letters, and reports, as well as writing by poet and author Ernst Jünger, French journalist Pierre-Louis Basse. and German novelist Heinrich Böll. Jünger was a participant of the film's events.

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