A Man Escaped, directed by Robert Bresson, is a 1956 French film based on the memoirs of André Devigny. Devigny was a member of the French Resistance, imprisoned by the occupying Germans during World War II. He broke out of the Montluc prison in Lyon in 1943, a place where about 7000 prisoners died, and the location the story takes place. Bresson himself was also imprisoned by the Germans as a member of the French Resistance.
In the film the main character, Fontaine, knows his chance of survival in prison is low. He devises a plan of escape, and shares it with another inmate named Orsini, who is also intent on breaking out. Orsini makes his attempt first, and is caught. Before he is to be executed, he tells Fontaine how to improve his plan of escape. Fontaine soon learns he is also to go in front of the firing squad. Just as he's running out of time, a new cell mate further complicates his plans.
For this illustration I wanted to show more than just a prisoner making his escape. I wanted to show the power and oppression the occupying German force had over the French. The Giant hand represents the Nazi stranglehold on the French people, and their determination to take whatever they wanted through force. Most of the movie focuses on the prisoners, with the Germans a secondary presence. Likewise in this illustration, as it unfolds to the left, the Nazi officer appears secondary to the French characters on the cover.
The design and layout is inspired by a gate fold design used on some classic movie DVD & blu ray releases. Below is the full illustration, as well as the layout with credits, acknowledgements and other information.