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Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution (2009)

In 1794, French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre produced the world's first defense of "state terror" - claiming that the road to virtue lay through political violence. This film ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Andress ...
Himself - Author 'The Terror'
...
Collot
Colin Jones ...
Himself - Author 'The Great Nation'
Marisa Linton ...
Herself - Author - 'The Politics of Virtue'
George Maguire ...
Hilary Mantel ...
Herself - Author - 'A Place of Greater Safety'
Jan Pearson ...
Narrator (voice)
Brian Pettifer ...
...
Carnot (as 'Jonny Phillips')
...
Himself - Author - 'Citizens'
Ruth Scurr ...
Herself - Author 'Fatal Purity'
...
...
Himself - Author - 'In Defence of Lost Causes'
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Storyline

In 1794, French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre produced the world's first defense of "state terror" - claiming that the road to virtue lay through political violence. This film combines drama, archive and documentary interviews to examine Robespierre's year in charge of the Committee Of Public Safety - the powerful state machine at the heart of Revolutionary France. Contesting Robespierre's legacy is Slavoj Zizek, who argues that terror in the cause of virtue is justifiable, and Simon Schama, who believes the road from Robespierre ran straight to the gulag and the 20th-century concentration camp. The drama, based on original sources, follows the life-and-death politics of the Committee during "Year Two" of the new Republic. It was a year which gave birth to key features of modern age: the thought crime; the belief that calculated acts of violence can perfect humanity; the notion that the interests of "mankind" can be placed above those of "man"; the use of policemen to enforce ... Written by Steve Lawton

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Goofs

Hilary Mantel says that with the execution of Danton, Robespierre had lost the last link to his childhood. She appears to be confusing Danton with his close associate Camille Desmoulins, who had indeed known Robespierre since childhood (they both attended the College Louis-le-Grand). See more »

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