Most holiday movies tend to have the same overall message – be kind, be joyful and do unto others.  But no other film portrays the message “Peace on Earth” quite as subtly or beautifully as Joyeux Noël.  The 2005 film was a multi-nation project depicting the famous Christmas truce on the Western Front between Scottish, French and German troops during World War I.  The hypnotizing woman pictured above is German actress Diane Kruger, as a Danish opera singer named Anna Sørensen.  Her German lover and fellow opera singer, Sprink, is a soldier on the front, and as a Christmas treat, they’re allowed to perform for Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (pictured, below).  Sprink has to return to the trenches, and Anna decides to go with him.  Anna, outfitted in a soft, sparkly gold turn-of-the-century gown, keeps herself warm with a stunning floor-length cranberry velvet cape with fur-lined edges.  She is a vision to the men that have seen nothing but horror over the last few months.  Kruger stands out among the sea of soldiers, who soon realize it’s not only their uniforms that unite them…  Sprink starts to sing traditional Christmas carols, which catches the attention of their enemies; it is the haunting sounds of “Silent Night” that bring the fighting forces together, to celebrate the holiday.  It was based on the true story of German tenor Walter Kirchhoff, whose songs were met with cheers from French soldiers, which initiated the truce.  Unfortunately, the peace doesn’t last for long, nor is it rewarded by the troops’ respective governments.  If the men of one of the bloodiest wars in history could find hope and brotherhood among their enemies in the trenches, we can all learn to to be a little more empathetic this season…


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