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Children of Paradise

Children of Paradise

Les Enfants du Paradis, or Children of Paradise in North America, is a two-part 190-minute romantic drama film by Marcel Carné made under war conditions in 1943, 1944, and early 1945 in both Vichy France and Occupied France. Set in the theatrical world of 1830s Paris, it tells the story of a courtesan and four men — a mime, an actor, a criminal and an aristocrat — who love her in entirely different ways.

Plot

Children of Paradise is divided into two epochs, Boulevard du Crime ("Boulevard of Crime") and L'Homme Blanc ("The Man in White"). The first begins around 1827, the second about seven years later. The action takes place mainly in the neighborhood of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, nicknamed "Boulevard of Crime" because of all the melodramas and bloody scenarios offered to the largely plebeian public each evening. There are two principal theaters: the Théâtre des Funambules ("Theater of Tightrope Walkers") specializes in pantomime, since the authorities do not allow it to use spoken dialogue, which is reserved for the "official" venue, the Grand Theater.