A heroically romantic interpretation of the events leading up to the French Revolution; its postulation of an alternative to nationalism vs monarchism is obviously closely related to the Popular Front period during which the film was made. But this is also something that, along with Renoir's sweeping emotional populism, tends to distance us from much of the film. However, even if you're not particularly attuned to Renoir's values (simplicity, nature, etc), he is always sufficiently shrewd in his analysis of the aristocracy for those sections of the film to have an air of authentic and haunting decadence. It is a relief, too, to see the lingering archaism of the earlier sections of the film swept away in an astonishing last third of quiet power.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jean Renoir, Carl Koch, N Martel Dreyfus|