It was not an enemy attack but the French themselves who sent their warships to the bottom of the sea. Of the 173 ships in Toulon harbour, more than 85 have gone to ground. It was a disaster from which the French Navy would find it hard to recover.
How did things get this far? Who gave the orders? Who executed them? The answer to these questions lies in the painful history of collaboration of the army. Caught in the tangled web of its own contradictions, the navy resorted to the most desperate act of all ... the scuttling of its own fleet. A scenario that was set in motion by the events of June 1940 and would inevitably lead to this disastrous outcome.
This documentary offers a narrative that is both documented and lively with a fresh historical take, based on filmed and photographic archives, testimonies from historians and survivors as well as fictional reconstruction scenes and 3D sequences.
"From the attack of the French fleet at Mers el-Kebir by the Royal Navy to this tragic apotheosis of Toulon, the film sheds light on a period that is still taboo, where French came to fight other French, and where Vichy, believing to still be masters of a part of its fleet, had bowed to the diktats of the Reich." - Hélène Marzolf, Télérama
Festivals and Awards:
2014: selected for the "History Film Award - documentary 2014" at the International History Film Festival of Pessac , France (18-23 Nov.)