Danton

Danton

DVD - 2009 | French
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Georges Danton, the popular revolutionary leader, returns to Paris at a time when the new Republic is in disarray. Robespierre and his allies have set up a monstrous dictatorship, beginning the infamous "Reign of Terror." Danton pleads with the people for an end to the bloodshed which violates the spirit of their revolution.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, c2009
ISBN: 9781604651263
1604651261
Branch Call Number: FRE 791.4372 D194w1
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (136 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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a
akirakato
Jun 17, 2015

This is a 1983 French drama directed by the Polish director Andrzej Wajda, based on the Polish play "The Danton Case" by Stanisława Przybyszewska.
It is about the last months of Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the French Revolution.
It is an interesting film to see the character differences between Georges Danton---the earthy man of the people---and Maximilien Robespierre, the icy Jacobin extremist.

n
Nursebob
Apr 05, 2015

During the “Reign of Terror” which followed the French Revolution two former allies find themselves on opposite sides of an ideological divide. As the head of the “Public Safety Committee” Maximilien Robespierre is a man of impeccable honour and a fierce supporter of the new republic who is obsessed with rooting out all enemies of the fledgling state through imprisonment and execution. Georges Danton (a fiery Gérard Depardieu) is a more left-leaning sympathizer who once held Robespierre’s position and now actively opposes what he sees as an emerging dictatorship. As tensions between the two men escalate the city of Paris stands divided causing the more radical elements of Robespierre’s camp to demand the arrest and summary execution of Danton and his followers—an idea which fills Maximilien with dread even as it becomes increasingly unavoidable. With the Reign of Terror in full swing and the population beginning to take sides the scene is set for a courtroom showdown which not only puts Danton on trial, but the entire government as well. While some have suggested Polish director Andrzej Wajda used this story of post-revolutionary France to reflect on his own country’s political turmoil in the early 80s (change Danton’s name to Walesa and you get the idea) "Danton" is still an engrossing character study-cum-philosophical treatise on its own. Filmed in grandiose widescreen shots as befits its subject matter and with meticulous attention to period details, Wajda’s political allegory is rife with small ironies—a child is repeatedly slapped as he struggles to recite the articles of the Constitution; a guillotine is reverently unveiled as if it were a religious icon—and weighty insights into the ambiguous nature of “freedom” itself. A seemingly incongruous soundtrack of sombre choral pieces, reminiscent of Kubrick’s "2001", ultimately proves to be a stroke of cinematic genius—their ethereal yet vaguely threatening harmonies adding just a touch of horror as each man marches towards his own fate. Well done!

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