Exactly 100 years ago, on Christmas day 1914, something remarkable happened. Thousands of French, British and Belgian soldiers put down their weapons and spent Christmas day celebrating with their German enemy soldiers. This was not an organized truce, as Pope Benedict XV had requested earleir that year, but a siege fire that even today, is not clear how it was initiated. It is a fact though that almost two-thirds of the troops stopped fighting for just that day, and sang Christmas carols along side the people that threated their lives and freedom.
Almost 100.000 soldiers are believed to have participated on the siege fire that day, and despite the fact that the following days and years they would resume participating in this fatal war that caused millions of casualties and would mark deeply Europe, on this Christmas day, they put aside their hatred and celebrated in peace.
A century later we remember this day, for the hope that it brings that sometimes love and courage can overcome madness and hatred. Apart from the letters, diaries and oral accounts from the soldiers, we have also two films that tell the story of that day: Joyeux Noël (2005), starring Diane Kruger, Benno Furmann and Guillaume Canet.
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....