A French village and its inhabitants go through the ups and (mainly) downs of the occupation by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The village doctor is assigned as mayor, and confronted ...
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A French village and its inhabitants go through the ups and (mainly) downs of the occupation by the German army from 1940 to 1945. The village doctor is assigned as mayor, and confronted with the challenges, dilemmas, and contradictory demands and situations. At the same time, therre is a lot of peronal interaction with a number of interesting characters Written by
This is a truly remarkable, riveting, and even addictive TV series, certainly one of the best I have ever seen, regardless of language. (I'm 64. I've seen a lot of TV series.) What makes it remarkable? The acting is uniformly first-rate, the direction very good, the script even better than first-rate. Each episode holds you from the get-go, and many end with cliff-hangers that make you want to start the next episode. As I said, it is downright addicting.
Are there any flaws? I don't know that I would call them flaws, but I can see that those interested in the history of the Occupation in France could have several issues with the series.
1) A previous reviewer wrote that it is an "Excellent TV show explaining the life of ordinary people in Nazi occupied France." Not really true. The main French characters are almost all members of the haute bourgeoisie: a leading doctor, a factory manager, the chief of police, etc. They do not deal with the issues that friends of mine remember from the Occupation: the shortage of everything, starting with food and fuel to heat homes. For ordinary French people, the Occupation was four years of waiting in line every day for bare necessities, punctuated by an occasional dramatic event.
2) The episodes are almost all dramatic events. It makes for riveting viewing, certainly, but it gives a skewed view of daily life during the Occupation.
3) Much of the focus is on sex and marital infidelity, rather than issues specific to the Occupation. (It reminds me a lot of Zola's Germninal in that sense.) This holds audiences, certainly, but there is nothing particularly related to the Occupation here. Almost all the wives turn out to be unfaithful to their husbands. I'm not sure how a feminist would react to that.
4) The depiction of the Communist Party leaders is uniformly negative. Again, the focus seems to be very bourgeois.
All that said, I repeat that this is a riveting series. You will not regret watching it - except that you may well become addicted to it.
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