Chichinette: The Accidental Spy AKA Chicinette: How I Accidentally Became a Spy
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (1st February 2020).
The Film

This is the unbelievable and shocking true story about espionage, war, secret intelligence and a young woman who had her life ripped out from under her. After the liberation of Paris in 1944, a young Jewish nurse enlisted by the French Secret Service and sent to Germany. After 13 failed attempts, she finally manages to cross the border. To stay undercover, she assimilates with the enemy and infiltrates German troop movements to defeat the Nazis. This is her extraordinary story.

Video

This fine documentary gets the standard definition DVD treatment from Signature Entertainment in the UK.

Most of this is digitally shot but there are moments of stock footage taken from vintage film shot - most likely - on 16mm in the 1940s. At other times there vintage interviews on lesser sources as well.

The modern material is more than acceptable with straightforward colour values that haven't been boosted or desaturated offering a naturalistic palette and experience. Black levels are satisfying and detail is apparent although obviously suffers from the image harvest being presented in standard definition. Contrast is serviceable with perhaps the odd moment where it clips detail but only in a very minor way; certainly not enough to get in a tizz about.

Stock footage varies but is what it is and is generally clean but with signs of age apparent.

Overall this is a clean and satisfying presentation but like all standard def transfers would be massively improved by being rendered at a higher resolution. I suppose the nature of this being an informative documentary largely made up of talking heads stunning image quality isn't a priority.

PAL / 1.78:1 / 85:48

Audio

English / French Dolby Digital 5.1
English / French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: English (burned in)

The soundtrack is functional and gets the job done with the theatrical 5.1 track having a more developed and expanded sound field. That said it's obviously nothing to really right home about being a documentary. The sounds are mainly relegated to delivering the score which is effectively enveloping when it happens. Dialogue is the main element of importance and it's always clear and clear.

Subtitles are burnt in and decent enough.

Extras

None

Packaging

Standard DVD keep case.

Overall

A barebones, functional disc gets the job done. The kind of disc that were this the days of video rentals I'd recommend only as a rental not a purchase unless the subject is one that you really want to return to time and again. It's also a shame that the opportunity for plenty of extra contextual material has been utterly squandered.

The Film: A Video: B- Audio: C+ Extras: F Overall: C

 


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