A film about the early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of the citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course, the king Louis XVI, each showing their own small problems.
Letterboxd review by Stephen Furda ★★★★
Jean Renoir’s film about the French Revolution has the scope and pace of a historical epic, but its retelling of events is livened up by the care Renoir takes in presenting the people who took part in them. Amidst its grand story and shifting perspectives, this movie finds time for plenty of intimate moments – of heartbreak, of fear, of celebration and camaraderie – making it a fascinating micro portrait of a point in history that might be more commonly understood on the macro level, with a particularly affecting focus on class (exhibited as early as the opening credits, where the characters are organized based on the social class they belong to). The film does a terrific job of illustrating how ordinary people live and work together. It also illustrates the humanity of a historical figure like King Louis XVI, whose complexities might be lost in a drier and more fact-based historical telling. Essentially, it’s history from the ground up.
Commentary by film critic Nick Pinkerton
3.69GB | 2h 11m | 762×576 | mkv