"La Commune" is a brilliant nearly 6-hour long must-see docudrama.
Peter Watkins' nearly 6-hour long docudrama, "La Commune (Paris, 1871)," is a surprisingly passionate and fast-moving lesson in history. It is also a brilliant demonstration of how history is shaped, and re-shaped, by the tellers of the tale.
Using the "You Are There" approach of earlier radio and TV days, Watkins has a male and female news team from "Commune TV" wandering through the poorest district of Paris inviting people to express their grievances against the state to the camera.
While the people bitterly suffer because of the government's inept defeat at the hands of the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War, their anger inspires solidarity for them throughout Paris, and although they briefly rise up and seize power, they are brutally put down in the end.
Ironically, during the course of their uprising, a TV monitor in the background features happy-talk "Versailles TV" news anchors, who continually vilify the Communards and rationalize the government's brutal acts of supression.
"La Commune" is a must-see for students of history, and a must-see for students of the media.
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