The Nazis occupied France in 1941, and got pushed out in 1944.

How old is Shosanna in the first scene of Inglourious Basterds, when her farm is investigated by Nazi occupiers ("we will leave you alone for the rest of our occupation" is a Landa quote from the conversation in that scene) and how old is she in the later scenes where Nazis are watching a movie in her theatre?

Is she supposed to be around the same age, or does the movie suppose an alternate reality where D-Day never happened and the war continued for a decade or longer?

  • 2
    I think you're over thinking this. The dates are clearly presented in the film and are historically accurate. Also what does Shosanna's age have to do with an alternate reality and D-Day never happening?
    – pt18cher
    Oct 21, 2014 at 14:50
  • Yeah, I think I underestimated Shoshanna's age in the first scene and missed the line where he says she's 18. I actually haven't seen the film in a while, just was thinking about it while reading a book about Vichy France. Oct 22, 2014 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


The Nazis occupied most of France in 1940 (and the last soldiers left in 1945, e.g. La Rochelle). The movie starts ("First Chapter") in 1941 (shown on screen) with Colonel Landa interviewing LaPadite. He specifically asks him for Shosanna's age, LaPadite estimates it as 18 or 19.

In Chapter Two the Basterds are introduced. Lieutenant Raine says to his men that everyone knows that the invasion starts soon but their group will get into France even earlier. We then see them active in France and Hitler's reaction. A map is shown behind him, it doesn't show any allied occupied territory in France but it isn't historical in other regards too; it's more of delusion and propaganda. In general it shows the state of German occupied territory maybe 1943.

Chapter Three (Shosanna meets Zoller in Paris et al.) is set in 1944 (shown on screen).

The last scenes of the movie are shown at the front line that Colonel Landa, his driver, Lt. Raine and Donny are driving to in a truck so it takes place after the invasion. The main diversion in the timeline is the killing of a lot of high ranked Nazis up to Hitler, the rest seems to be intact. The actions after the massacre are speculative but probably not realistic; generally an unconditional surrender was mandated by the allied after the conference of Casablance, local negotiations could probably have happened nevertheless. But after the timeline diversion it remains speculative of course.

So, if in the beginning of the film Shoshanna was 18 or 19, at the end (the theater destruction) she would be 21 or 22.

  • To make this more confusing, her French identity papers state a birth year of 1926, which would make her only 15 in the opening scene. It's possible that LaPadite misremembered her age, or that the the birth year on her ID is fake.
    – Brady Gilg
    Aug 16, 2019 at 22:57

At the beginning of the movie, the year is 1941 and Shosanna is probably 18 or 19 years old as @his says in his answer. The timeline after that is a bit unclear: at the beginning of Chapter Three "German night in Paris", the year is 1944 (shown on screen), but 40 seconds later it's mentioned that four years have passed since the massacre of Shosanna's family:

Four years after the massacre of her family

So if LaPadite was correct, Shosanna is between 21 (18 + 3) and 23 (19 + 4) at the start of Chapter Three, and about the same at the end of the movie since as far as I know only little time has passed since (some weeks or maybe even just a few days).

(Off topic: notice that the movie about Piz Palu had been playing in Shosanna's cinema, the movie that was mentioned earlier in the bar scene)

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