We’re in Occupied Paris, June 1940. German tanks have rolled in. The stylish cafes and nightclubs cater to Nazis now. Daily supplies are rationed, fear is plentiful. France is crushed but the SHADOW WAR has just begun. A British S.O.E. spymaster teams with a partisan leader in Burgundy to organize The Resistance Fighters’ Literary Club. Composed of blacklisted writers and artists, their clandestine headquarters in Paris is the Balzac Bookshop. A young American Embassy attaché and a beautiful French-Russian countess are two female agents sent by London HQ to kidnap a top Nazi art official, the head of Dienststelle Westen, and smuggle an iconic French masterpiece to safety from the thieving Nazis. These characters are based on actual people and true events.
Danger and excitement build as the espionage missions unfold. Paul and Natalia blow up a German troop train. Natalia seduces a decadent Nazi General in a glamorous Crillon Hotel suite. Georgette firebombs a crowd of Nazi soldiers waiting outside a landmark Art Deco movie theater. Charles must try to save the lives of two Jewish children hiding from Gestapo round-ups. An intellectual French art historian and an American bad-boy artist create a forgery of an iconic painitng, Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, to save it from the thieving Nazis. It symbolizes the very freedoms the Resistance is fighting for. Paul is assigned to smuggle the children and the painting across the border to safety ahead of the Nazis.
The S.O.E. agents and Resistance fighters face existential crises each day of their lives. They carry a showdow self within, as we all do, and wage their own SHADOW WAR.
Liberty Leading the People (French: La Liberté guidant le peuple) is a painting by Eugène Delacroix commemorating the July Revolution of 1830, which toppled King Charles X of France. A woman personifying the concept of Liberty leads the people forward over the bodies of the fallen, holding the flag of the French Revolution--the tricolor flag which s still France's flag today. The figure of Liberty is also viewed as a symbol of France and the French Republic known as Marianne.