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This sure doesn't look like a film from Georges Méliès.
I have seen just about every extant film by the great French filmmaker Georges Méliès and I must say that if I didn't know better, I'd swear it was not one of his films. The style, look and composition bear no similarities to his work....none. With Méliès, you expect trick cinematography--such as appearing and disappearing people or objects. However, this film is very different--very 'normal' and apparently set outdoors (whereas his other films were made in an odd set that looked indoors while using natural light by not having a roof overhead.
Of all the films about the Dreyfus Affair I have seen, this is the only one that was made during the height of the incident--while Dreyfus was incarcerated on Devil's Island for supposedly betraying his country. He's simply shown in a stockade-like enclosure doing not much of anything. Then a jailer comes in and gives him a letter--though we have no idea WHAT that is all about. In many ways, it is so mundane that you'd almost think it was by the famous Lumière Brothers.
All in all, a rather brave political statement, as like Zola and a few other celebrities, Méliès is trying to sway public opinion in Dreyfus' favor in order to win his release. While not the most interesting film, an important one historically.
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