A French Village (Un village Français) (2009)

3 Jun

Un_village_Francais_

After six long years New Zealand finally has its hot little hands on the highly acclaimed French wartime series A French Village, with Madman bringing in the first of six seasons in last month.

The series focuses on Villeneuve, a small fictional French village under German occupation during the Second World War. Season one covers part of 1940, introducing us to Villeneuve’s inhabitants, a microcosm of French society. Under the claustrophobic conditions of occupation relationships are tested, and morals are cast aside as the villagers struggle to find their place in an oppressive new world.

Show creators Philippe Triboit, Frédéric Krivine and Emmanuel Daucé have expertly captured the effects of simmering tensions and desperate need on ordinary French citizens during the war, foregoing the easy territory of patriotism and heroism associated with the genre in favor of more uncomfortable subjects such as sexual exploitation, and co-operation with the enemy. Indeed, in Villeneuve no one is entirely clean and few are completely dirty. A nuanced and delicate portrayal of one of the darkest periods in French history, A French Village is well overdue on our shelves. See it now.

Ed.

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