A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, ...
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A news-reel like movie about early part of the French Revolution, shown from the eyes of individual people, citizens of Marseille, counts in German exile and, of course the king Louis XVI, showing their own small problems. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Given the monumental importance of the French Revolution in history, it is surprising that so few films have been made about it or have even used it as a setting. "The Assassination of the Jean Paul Marat" is probably the most interesting and offbeat film, but it takes place 20 years after the revolution and only debates and argues about it. "Scarlet Pimpernel," "Reign of Terror," and "Tale of Two Cities" just use the revolution as backdrops to tell fun adventure stories. "Danton" is boring, anti-revolutionary and childish, everyone is presented in black and white terms. Griffith's "Orphans of the Storm" has lots of delights and some great action sequences, but is too didactic and anti-revolutionary. "Marie Antonette" (2006) and "Affair of the Necklace" are beautiful and great works, but show little interest in the revolution itself.
Although it deals with only some events leading to the overthrow of the monarchy, "La Marseillaise" is possibly the best film. It shows the complexity of the events and deals with them in an intelligent and reasonable manner. It shows how "the Brunswick Manifesto" led to the arrest of the King and Queen. While Marie and Louis, are not shown in a particularly good light, neither are they caricatured.
The movie is episodic and slow, but there are a number of dazzling shots and scenes. The attack on the King's palace at the end is the dramatic highlight.
There is a fabulous scene in the middle of the film where the aristocrats are singing a song about how they are going to "hang the traitors" and shortly the revolutionaries answer by singing about how they are going to "hang the aristocrats." It shows the most humanistic, balanced and honest presentation of the situation of any film on the subject that I have seen.
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