This is an extended analysis of the film, from different perspectives. The first half is largely a discussion of the cinematic technique, with key sequences analysed shot by shot. The second half approaches the film from many other angles, including its history, the critical reception, Renoir's life and career, and film theory, e.g., film in relation to music. A case is made that Renoir's career was inconsistent during the 1930s, especially after La Regle du jeu; melodramatic plots and trite cinematic technique detract from many of his films. And rather than emphasising the humanist, anti-war thrust of La Grande Illusion, the film is approached as a work of art that is deeply expressive cinematically.