Fictionalized account of the life of famed French author Emile Zola. As portrayed in the film, he was a penniless writer sharing an apartment in Paris with painter Paul Cezanne when he finally wrote a best-seller, Nana. He has always had difficulty holding onto a job as he is quite outspoken, being warned on several occasions by the public prosecutor that he risks charges if he does not temper his writings. The bulk of the film deals with his involvement in the case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely convicted of giving secret military information to the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devils Island. Antisemitism played an important role in the real-life case but is hardly mentioned in the film. Even after the military found definitive evidence that Dreyfus was innocent, the army decided to cover it up rather than face the scandal of having arbitrarily convicted the wrong man. Zola's famous letter, J'Accuse (I Accuse), led to his own trial for libel where he was ... Written by
Here Is True Greatness !
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Did You Know?
Early in the film, Zola burns a few books to warm his drafty apartment. When Cezanne opens the window to let out the smoke, Zola asks him to close the windows to avoid a draft. The real Émile Zola
in fact died of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a stopped chimney. See more
Zola is shown as not wanting to get involved in the Dreyfus Affair until he is won over by an emotional plea from Mme. Dreyfus following the Esterhazy trial. In fact, he had interested himself in the affair for some time before that and had written articles denouncing the anti-semitism that had condemned Dreyfus. See more
Why didn't Picquart say anything?
Colonel Picquart is a good officer. He kept silent at the request of his superiors.
You mean they KNEW and they ordered him to suppress the truth? Why,that's monstrous!
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations often in the score See more