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Germinal (1993)

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In mid-nineteenth-century northern France, a coal mining town's workers are exploited by the mine's owner. One day, they decide to go on strike, and the authorities repress them.

Director:

Claude Berri
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2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Miou-Miou ... Maheude
Renaud ... Étienne Lantier
Jean Carmet ... Vincent Maheu dit Bonnemort
Judith Henry Judith Henry ... Catherine Maheu
Jean-Roger Milo Jean-Roger Milo ... Chaval
Gérard Depardieu ... Toussaint Maheu
Laurent Terzieff ... Souvarine
Bernard Fresson ... Victor Deneulin
Jean-Pierre Bisson Jean-Pierre Bisson ... Rasseneur
Jacques Dacqmine ... Philippe Hennebeau
Anny Duperey ... Madame Hennebeau
Gérard Croce Gérard Croce ... Maigrat
Frédéric van den Driessche ... Paul Négrel
Annick Alane Annick Alane ... Madame Grégoire
Pierre Lafont Pierre Lafont ... Léon Grégoire
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Storyline

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 <mdrc@hp9000a1.uam.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for intense depiction of suffering and class conflict | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

31 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Germinal See more »

Filming Locations:

Valenciennes, Nord, France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 164,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$378,854
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 89353 delivered on 2-3-94. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Victor Deneulin: Before you make a living I must make a living first. The smallest increase will bankrupt me.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 15-16 Haziran direnisi See more »

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User Reviews

 
a difficult task
22 August 2008 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

Reducing Zola's masterful but monstrously long novel to a movie is the problem that Claude Berri does not seem to have resolved. He sticks close to Zola's text, which means that we get lots of undeveloped snippets of what were very developed scenes in the novel. If you don't know the novel, this probably causes a certain sense of confusion. If you do know the novel, and it is well-known in France, you have the sense that you are just skimming the surface. I think that Berri would have done better to be less faithful to the novel, or at least less comprehensive in his adaptation of it.

That said, there are most certainly good things in this movie. Miou Miou delivers, in my opinion, the movie's best performance. No, she is not at all the earth mother that Zola's la Meheude is. But she acts with her face, saying far more with a facial gesture than many words would have said. In a movie that skims over a lot of material, that makes for very effective acting. Depardieu is sometimes very good - physically he is perfect for the part of le Maheu - sometimes he seems to deliver the lines without thinking about them. The actor who plays Souvarine is very striking.

The cinematography is nice, but does not convey a lot of what Zola emphasizes in the novel: the heat and lack of space in the mine tunnels, etc.

A good movie if you haven't read the novel; a disappointing one if you have.


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