Army of Shadows (1969)

Horrible quality Youtube video but one of the best scenes in perhaps the greatest anti-fascist movie. A middle-aged, probably conservative leader of the French Resistance meets a young Communist in a Vichy detention camp. Under the eyes of their guards, they don’t have much time to talk. They’re able to let each other know in only a few words that they’re on the same side.

This is the process John Berger describes in his great essay “Fellow Prisoners.”

prisoners have their own vocabulary with which they think. Many words are kept secret and many are local, with countless variations. Small words and phrases, small yet containing a world: I’ll-show-you-my-way, sometimes-wonder, pajarillo, something-happening-in-B-wing, stripped, take-this-small-earring, died-for-us, go-for-it, etc.

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