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An occupational hazard of writing about film is that over time, one develops two traits: a warped view of history and a warped view of language. This has resulted in the hazy conviction that Nazis spoke to each other in staccato English during the war and that, in the present day, if I tok like zees, cherie, and blow extravagant kisses then it means I can speak French. Irreparable damage. And no job-compensation benefits either.

I blame it all on films like zees, I mean this: “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” Based on the novel by Britain’s Louis de Bernieres, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” is a beautified, glamorized, Anglicized look at life under Italian/German occupation during World War II on the Greek island of Cephalonia.

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