Monday, 30 March 2015


Suite Française is an atmospheric film that gave me a sense of what it must have been like to be French and occupied in a way that no other film has done so before. This is a tribute to its actors, direction, sets, locations and costumes. I felt a deep mix of fear, despair, confusion, anger and longing at different times during the film. But I didn't really feel the love.

For me, there was no chemistry between the two main protagonists not because they didn't act it well, but I was left perplexed and confused by the story: perhaps the book, with more detail, is better? Indeed at the end, as the final credits rolled, there were a couple of statements that left me completely confused as to what the movie had, in fact, been all about.  Perhaps the movie was a success if it was designed to make the cinema goer feel as confused as the French must have been during the days of occupation: not knowing who or what to trust, or what the narrative meant.

For me the film raises difficult questions about ethics and maintaining integrity within a very up-side-down world. In other words when almost everything has changed, how do you know what is right or wrong any more?

Once upon a time, leaders operated within mono-cultures where the lines between right action and wrong action were easy to see. As our world has become more pluralist and mixed, those lines are far more blurred. We are surrounded by competing views of the world, imprinting themselves on our retinas & minds 24 hours a day. Now, more than ever, a leader needs that moral centre of gravity to help guide her/him through this ethical maelstrom.

What is your centre of gravity?


This is the eighty first of my 2014/2015 series of blogs about leadership ideas to be found in the movies of our time. You can read here as why I began doing this (with an update at the end of 2014). Please subscribe to this blog if you want to read more. Thanks. Click the label 'film' to see all the others.

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