In 1944, a dashing German soldier and a beautiful French girl fell deeply in love while World War II raged on. More than forty years later, Ernest Kestner, retired and recently widowed, leaves his adopted home in New York and returns to France to visit his headstrong, estranged daughter, with the fleeting hope of finding the love he was forced to leave behind. But this is no ordinary vacation in the charming French countryside.
The mood is strangely dark, and what Kestner and his daughter encounter is completely unexpected as the veteran soldier seeks the ultimate Souvenir – born from the ashes of a horrible, hidden secret. Based on the true story of Oradour-sur-Glane, a French town that was nearly wiped out near the end of WWII. Most every man, woman and child was gunned down or burned in retaliation for the French Resistance. The entire ruined town has been preserved as a national memorial.
Souvenir is a 1989 British drama film directed by Geoffrey Reeve and starring Christopher Plummer, Catherine Hicks and Michael Lonsdale. It was based on the novel The Pork Butcher by David Hughes. Forty years after the Second World War, an ex-German soldier returns as an American to a French village in which atrocities were committed by the Nazis, during which his then French lover was murdered. The film, like the book, is an attempt to attribute and assuage patent and discreet levels of guilt.
Directed by: Geoffrey Reeve
Starring: Christopher Plummer, Catherine Hicks, Michael Lonsdale, Christopher Cazenove, Patrick Bailey, Jean Badin, Lisa Daniely, Amélie Pick
Screenplay by: Paul Wheeler
Production Design by: Morley Smith
Cinematography by: Fred Tammes
Film Editing by: Robert Morgan
Art Department: Lawrie Ayres
Music by: Tony Kinsey
Distributed by: Curzon Film Distributors
Release Date: January 6, 1989