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In this section are films that deal with more serious themes, such as crime, passion, troubled romance and hard-hitting human stories.

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Content

 
  • Elle l'adore

    Elle l'adore

  • Les Anarchistes

    Les Anarchistes

  • Hors la loi

    Hors la loi

  • Un prophete

    Un prophete

  • Mediterranea

    Mediterranea

  • Chaos

    Chaos

  • Jalousie

    La jalousie

  • Suzanne

    Suzanne

  • Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

    Au nom de ma fille (Kalinka)

  • Mal de pierres

    Mal de pierres

  • La Proie

    La Proie

  • 11.6

    11.6

  • La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

    La prochaine fois je viserai le coeur

  • Les cowboys

    Les cowboys

  • Apr├Ęs le sud

    Après le sud

  • Chocolat

    Chocolat

  • L'Atessa

    L'Atessa

  • La fille inconnue

    La fille inconnue

  • Belle de jour

    Belle de Jour

  • La femme tranquille

    La femme tranquille

  • Un peuple et son roi

    Un peuple et son roi

Archive


Un peuple et son roi
Un peuple et son roi
For many people I guess the story of the French Revolution is the storming of the Bastille and the guillotining of Louis XVI. But a great deal happened between these two events, as indeed it did afterwards. This film fills in the gap. It's almost documentary in nature but we do of course have some central characters to take us through the story.

With a fine cast and magnificent settings it certainly gives us a feel for the political climate and the situation of the poor people of Paris. And there is extensive coverage of the debates in the the National Assembly as the people seek to codify their newly won rights, and later as the plight of the king is decided.

Life was certainly tough and when arms were taken up many died. This of course only heightened the feelings against the king and despite many deputies voting against the death penalty his fate was eventually sealed.

The human stories are captivating but after a while the ongoing scenes within the Assembly become a bit boring. I could catch quite a bit of the French and I feel that the English subtitles don't really convey the passion of the speeches being made. And I believe that a French audience would find the procedures far more stimulating than an English-speaking one.

Often with historical dramas it's worth reading a bit beforehand unless you are familiar with the subject. I think this film is a clear candidate for doing this.

The guillotine sequence, which effectively marks the end of the film, is uncomfortably realistic and quite gruesome. But, of course, much worse was to follow!

The review in the UK Guardian newspaper described the film as a "bum-numbing history lesson for Marie Antoinette haters", alluding to the prominence given to le peuple with precious little sympathy for the king and queen. Such sentiments are of course more in line with the feelings of many French people.
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