War of the Buttons (2011)


War of the Buttons (French: La nouvelle guerre des boutons) is a 2011 French film directed by Christophe Barratier.


The story takes place in March 1944 in a small French village. The young people from the neighbouring villages of Longeverne and Velrans have been waging this merciless war as long as anyone can remember: the buttons of all the little prisoners’ clothes are removed so that they head home almost naked, vanquished and humiliated. Consequently, this conflict is known as the “War of the Buttons”. The village that collects the most buttons will be declared the winner. Meanwhile, Violette, a young Jewish girl, has caught the eye of Lebrac, the intelligent chief of the Longeverne kids who is coming of age, leading his gang and their rivals to consider putting aside their differences in order to protect her from the Nazis.


  • Laetitia Casta as Simone
  • Guillaume Canet as the teacher
  • Kad Merad as Father Lebrac
  • Gérard Jugnot as Father Aztec
  • Jean Texier as Lebrac
  • Clément Godefroy as Petit (Little) Gibus
  • Marc-Henri Wajnberg as Vladimir
  • Théophile Baquet as Grand (Big) Gibus
  • François Morel as Father Bacaillé
  • Louis Dussol as Bacaillé
  • Harold Werner as Crique
  • Nathan Parent as Camus
  • Ilona Bachelier as Violette
  • Thomas Goldberg as the Aztec



The CD soundtrack composed by Philippe Rombi was released on Music Box Records label.


  • Many actors are recycled from “les Choristes”, a movie from the same director.
    • Some nods are present (the song “Maréchal”, etc).
  • In a classroom scene, the date written on the board is Monday 21 March 1944.
    • 21 March 1944 was on a Tuesday.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Christophe Barratier
  • Producer(s):
    • Daniel Delume … executive producer
    • Thomas Langmann … producer
    • Emmanuel Montamat … associate producer
  • Writer(s):
    • Stéphane Keller … (scenario)
    • Christophe Barratier … (scenario)
    • Thomas Langmann … (scenario)
    • Stéphane Keller … (adaptation)
    • Christophe Barratier … (adaptation)
    • Philippe Lopes-Curval … (adaptation)
    • Louis Pergaud … (novel)
  • Music:
    • Philippe Rombi
  • Cinematography:
    • Jean Poisson … director of photography
  • Editor(s):
    • Anne-Sophie Bion
    • Yves Deschamps
  • Production:
    • La Petite Reine (co-production)
    • TF1 Films Production (co-production)
    • Studio 37 (co-production)
    • Mars Films (co-production)
    • Logline Studios (co-production)
    • Canal+ (participation)
    • Ciné+ (participation)
    • Région Auvergne (support)
    • Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC) (in partnership with)
  • Distributor(s):
    • GEM Entertainment (Non-US, 2011)(multi-territory)
    • Delphi Filmverleih Produktion (Germany, 2011)(theatrical)
    • Mars Distribution (France, 2011)(theatrical)
    • Odeon (Greece, 2011)(theatrical)
    • The Weinstein Company (United States, 2012)(subtitled, theatrical)
    • Alta Films (Spain, 2011)
    • DCM Film Distribution (Germany, 2012)
    • Teleview International (Lebanon, 2011)(Middle East)
  • Release Date: 21 September 2011 (France).
  • Rating: PG-13.
  • Running Time: 109 minutes.
  • Country: France.
  • Language: French.

Video Link(s)

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