It's mid 19th century, north of France. The story of a coal miner's town. They are exploited by the mine's owner. One day the decide to go on strike, and then the authorities repress them.Written by
Michel Rudoy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Claude Berri didn't want anyone but Renaud in the movie. It took three years to convince him and eventually, Renaud disliked his experience on set. He stated that the director had made him his puppet and told him exactly how to act and talk in every scene, leaving no room for a personal touch. Furthermore, the movie was supposed to be 3h38min long but several scenes were cut, most of them involving Renaud's character. The latter said that this made Lantier's part really hard to understand. See more »
Near the end of the film, when Etienne and Catherine are looking for the way out of the mine, we see the shadows of the lamps on the right wall of the tunnel. It's to be supposed that the only light inside the mine came from the lamps. See more »
A straightforward, generally fast-moving, recounting of a gripping social struggle, portrayed without any special effects for special effects' sake (though I think there was plenty of unobtrusive special effects), with the emphasis always on the dramatic line; good acting by all concerned; generally plain, clear photography that served the story-telling and not some "artsy" vision--all these added up, for me, to an enthuasiastic vote of "ten." Cannot praise this film enough. No, it's not some summit of art, but it's a textbook example of how to tell a story, keep the audience's attention, and honor the dramatic basis of the project instead of indulging in "artistic" whims and triviliaties that will appear dated in five or six years.
I'll be watching this one again. (By the way, I found the distant shot of the striking workers marching across the plain especially moving. And I had the feeling throughout the film that this was how things really looked at that terrible period of French, and European, history.)
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