...on critics who slam The Reader for its treatment of the Holocaust. Background here. (Guardian/In Contention)
MB: Have you been bemused or angered by the reaction to the film in Britain?
DH: Louis Malle was a great friend - I miss him every day - and he told me, "The French will never, ever forgive me for Au Revoir les Enfants and most of all, for Lacombe Lucien." And I said that in Britain we think of Au Revoir les Enfants and Lacombe Lucien as great masterpieces. And he said, "Not in France, they don't." I said, "What is your offence?" And he said, "You must never suggest that ordinary people collaborated. You must never suggest that the people who committed crimes were not monsters but human beings under certain pressures who do not belong to a separate category but are completely normal people."