I just found this excellent documentary (in 8 parts) juxtaposing Ernst Jünger´s life in Paris (via citations from his WWII Paris diaries “Strahlungen”) with Vichy propaganda shorts and other film footage from the same years. On the one hand, the typical illusions of mass propaganda, with its simplistic facade of normality, its one-sided righteousness, its certainty in the evilness of the enemy and in the march to victory despite everything; all this spiced with a trite wit completely of out touch with the awful reality. On the other hand, Jünger’s impartiality, his honest concise depictions of the real horrors, of the futility of it all, but also of the small moments of true humanity that emerge in wartime. At moments, his words also reflect his superior vision of the metahistorical significance of what was really coming to pass, above and behind not only the propagandistic illusions but also the material “reality of the day”.
Incidentally, Jünger himself knew of this film, as a short passage from The Details of Time: Conversations with Ernst Jünger reveals. In those conversations with Julian Hervier, he only indicates that he had given the director Cozarinsky permission to make the film and in retrospect had no reason to regret the decision. Indeed – it is well done and provides excellent context for Jünger’s difficult and yet enriching experience in occupied Paris. A big bonus: it has English subtitles with mostly decent translations of the Strahlungen citations.