Coronavirus lockdown leaves Paris street in 1940s time warp

People in France had only 16 hours to prepare for a nationwide lockdown, which left filmmakers no time to dismantle their set

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A Parisian neighbourhood has been left stuck in a Second World War time warp after the makers of a movie set in the 1940s had to abandon filming before France went into a coronavirus lockdown.

War propaganda and socialist posters are plastered on walls along the cobbled Rue Androuet, in the Montmartre district, which formed the set for the film is lined by a mock jewellery shop, a tailor's shop and off-licence, all in wartime decor. German road signs point towards medical facilities.

"Just in case quarantined Paris wasn't disorienting enough: my neighbourhood was being used as a film set when the lockdown hit. Now the whole block has been frozen in 1941," local resident Tim McInerney wrote on Twitter.

Paris was virtually a ghost town during an unprecedented peacetime lockdown ordered by French President Emmanuel Macron to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Macron gave France's 67 million people only 16 hours' notice, which did not leave the makers of the film, Adieu Monsieur Haffmann, enough time to dismantle their set and return the street to the 21st century.

Directed by Fred Cavaye, the movie is an adaptation of a play of the same name, which tells the story of Joseph Haffmann, a Jewish jeweller forced into hiding to escape the Nazis.

Two neighbouring streets, Rue Berthe and Rue des Trois Freres, were also dressed by filmmakers to look like a scene from wartime Paris. A police patrol enforcing the lockdown stopped to take pictures.

Paris fell under German occupation in 1940. The French government relocated to Vichy and the capital was governed by Adolf Hitler's military. During the occupation, a curfew was imposed, food was rationed and coal for heating was in short supply.

Cavaye could not immediately be reached for comment.