in 1685,the Sun King did not want his subjects to have a different religion anymore:it was the Revocation of the Edict OF Nantes ,which was his grandfather Henri the Fourth's work(1590):it was a colossal mistake which impoverished his kingdom,many wealthy Protestants leaving their motherland for England or Holland or Canada (particularly these of La Rochelle) It was the beginning of a guerrilla ,almost a civil war;the king's dragons (that was the name of the soldiers) persecuted people who had chosen what was then known as "Religion Réformée":massacres,plunders,rapes became common and the Protestants began to rebel;this is the subject of René Allio's movie which takes place in the Cevennes.Allio is not a very facile director :none of his movies can be labeled " mainstream stuff" .
"Les Camisards" (also called "Attroupés" ) is an austere effort,without real action and without the tricks of the trade such as a love affair;its documentary approach might put watchers off;told by one of the warriors (played by Rufus who was popular at the time)in the past historic ("Passé Simple"),with the use of a voice over. THE catholics -it's revealing in the scene of the young maid talking to her fiancé- see the "heretics" as debauched people ,sleeping with the first to come ;the female hostage ,free,tells how cruel these impious bandits are (the mote and the beam).Actually,the Protestants defend their independence of mind and their lives for the king's army,much more powerful than this handful of men (and women),gives no quarter.
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