Tag Archives: Bernard Lancret

Jean Dréville – Le joueur d’échecs AKA The Devil Is an Empress AKA Chess Player (1938)

1776. Along with Lithuania and Prussia, Poland has succumbed to the might of the Russian Empire, but a determined resistance movement is working to bring an end to the country’s annexation. A young woman named Sonia is the figurehead of the Polish resistance fighters, but the Empress Catherine II has no fear of her, as she knows that Sonia is of Russian blood – a fact that she asks the Baron de Kempelen to make known to her political enemies. But Kempelen’s allegiances are ambiguous and he appears more preoccupied with the elaborate life-size automata he is working on than the political situation. Read More »