Documental 10: The French Revolution

Posted on April 3, 2013

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The birth of the tri-color.

The birth of the tri-color.

I had absolutely no idea about this before watching. The only things I really knew about the French Revolution was that it happened a while ago, it happened in France, it led to the rise of Napoleon and some that was that. I had absolutely no idea it was so violent, so intense, and that it had such characters that only a combination of history and fiction could produce. This documentary is a beautiful entry to all of the above.

The documentary did some things that take real class, real work and real ingenuity. First of all, it made almost every character in the revolution seem sympathetic. In a revolution so bloody, this is immense. Maximillian Robespierre, the man who emobidies the revolution from birth to bloody death, is depicted as an incorruptible man that inevitably falls prey to the incredible lure of power, all be it against what he knows best. Marie Antoinette is the young lady plucked out of her home country into a strange foreign one, who lives a life of luxury before meeting a peasants demise after a show trial full of outlandish accusations. Heck, if a documentary can make me feel sorry for a member of any royal family, it is doing a good job. Everyone involved, be they the decadant King Louis, the mad with anger journalist Marat, or whoever else, they are depicted as people first and foremost. Even the guillotine, the chosen method of execution for the revolutionaries, is depicted as an almost humane way of brutal slaughter. This program is full of people with flaws, weaknesses and blemishes that would power one of the most important times in the history of Western Europe. A fine entry to this story.

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Posted in: Documental