A BRIDGE TO ELNE is based on a true story of a courageous family who endured the German occupation of France during WWII. Marcel Pointer is a successful dentist in Marseille until Nazi brutality leads him to join the Maquis, the militant branch of the French Resistance. He conducts several successful raids against the Vichy and the Germans, and is arrested by the Gestapo. After beating and interrogating him without obtaining evidence of his guilt, they finally release him. Aware of the increased danger, he decides to move his wife Angelina and their four children to Elne, a small village at the foot of the Pyrenees near the Mediterranean Sea. He returns to fight, leaving them with Paul and Elizabeth Courty, Angelina's parents, and her sister Paulette. In November 1942, the Germans move their troops into the southern, unoccupied zone of France. Captain Johann Weller is sent to Elne with his German engineering battalion to build fortifications along the Mediterranean coast. Each family in the village is ordered to house a German officer. Johann is assigned to the Courty home.
At first there is much tension, but with time Johann earns a degree of respect from the Courty's and Pontier's. He is not the evil monster they had expected. That doesn't alter the fact that by participating in the occupation, he is helping to further the Nazi cause with all its evil. Paulette comes to know him well, and over time they develop a close relationship. Only the taboos created by the war and occupation keep her from responding to his overtures. Paulette works for the mayor of Elne, where the Germans now make their headquarters. Speaking fluent German, she makes good use of her office next to the commandant's to access their conversations and plans, and is able to help the Resistance by funneling this information to Marcel. This is complicated by Johann's interest in her, and she is unsure how much he can be trusted. When the Germ