Sunday, October 12, 2014

Carve Her Name With Pride: The Heart-Pounding Story of Agent Violette Szabo

I didn't realize until I started watching this that's it's based on the biography and life of a real woman. Violette Szabo. She went from daughter to wife to mother to widow to FANY (In the movie, being a FANY officer is a cover) and finally, secret agent. The time was WWII.

In the beginning of the movie, we see her briefly as a shopgirl and we travel along with her as she meets her French soldier husband and he woos her with poetry. After a mere three days, they wish to marry, and she declares she will, with or without her family's blessing. That's only the first of many scenes in which viewers see her rebelliousness, her spunk.

I enjoyed watching her punch out a CO, learn to sky dive, and attempt her first assignment in France: blow up a viaduct. And though she'd rather stay home with her daughter, she's talked into a second assignment--the goal not quite clear. The last half hour is extremely intense and heart pounding though as she runs through France, gun in hand, with German soldiers chasing her and her companion. And darn it, I gotta wonder, why didn't they take the motorcycles?????? Huh? Not very smart agents... *smh* But we're merely human and we all make errors.

And then there's the inevitable capture...and you can say Violette's luck runs out. But she sure gives them what for beforehand...

Anyone who reads up on the real woman will know what happens in the end, but frankly I didn't see it coming. I didn't look up her real-life data until I finished the movie.

The life of the real Violette:

Violette Szabo IWM photo.jpg
The real Violette
-During the war, she also served in the Land Army, an armaments factory, as a switchboard operator, and in the ATS as well as an aircraft factory. This was a woman who grew restless quickly.
-Like in the movie, she met her husband whilst attending the Bastille Day parade, where her mother had sent her to "pick up" a French soldier to bring home for dinner. It seems Violette took the term "pick up" literally! LOL
-They had only one week's honeymoon before he shipped out again and a total of 42 days together. The movie quickened up their romance a bit.
-Her second mission to France saw her captured, tortured, and thrown in a concentration camp, where it's said she save the life of Belgian resistance courier.
-She endured much brutality before her execution. The movie, thankfully, did not show even a quarter of what she probably endured.

An exciting movie, full of romance, action, suspense, and sadness. A fabulous tribute to a brave woman.

I watched this on Netflix.

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