On the morning of 11 November 1918, the Allied and German leaderships met in a railway carriage in the forest of Compiègne, marking an end to almost five years of war. The incredible news began to spread across France, through the villages and towns, and along the frontlines. At 10.00am that day, private Trébuchon, from the 415th infantry regiment of the French Army, was entrusted with delivering the armistice message to the ennemy: he was killed instantly by a bullet to the head, five minutes before the ceasefire came into effect.
Officially, the 415th recorded no losses on 11 November 1918, as if its last operation never took place. Yet Trébuchon did indeed die for peace that day. His ultimate sacrifice, on the sidelines of the fast-moving political maneuvers to establish peace, symbolizes the whole absurdity of that war.
The Last Killed Soldier is an animated documentary that sets out to give an account of this dual history. That of the military leadership of the countries involved, all trying to pull the best deal out of the macabre power games that had swept Europe in the early part of the century. And that of a handful of anonymous individuals, humble sorts who were the frontline players in the generals’ game.
By blending archive images and traditional animation, we will follow in parallel the final peace negotiations and the movements of the 415th Infantry Regiment, which included Augustin Trébuchon, the last Frenchman killed in the Great War.
Production: Artisans du film, MIYU Productions & ECPAD
Direction: Jérémie Malavoy
Available versions: French, English