R | 2h 40min | Drama, Romance | 31 March 1994 (USA)
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.
Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)
Rated R for intense depiction of suffering and class conflict
“Germinal” is a vivid, colorful, eloquent rendering of how the life of mine workers was in Europe in late 19th century. It is also a powerful illustration of how a strike could come about in that time, and how difficult – almost hopeless – it could seem for those dirt-poor people to try and improve their miserable life conditions. Of course, the contrast with the bourgeoisie is striking and thought-provoking. Depardieu (as Maheu) is, as usual, a giant figure, and most other actors are also very convincing. One question that remains when you saw it all is : can you really change a society’s deep, unfair structure without violence?
Director: Claude Berri
Writers: Claude Berri, Arlette Langmann
Stars: Renaud, Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou
Country: France | Belgium | Italy
Release Date: 31 March 1994 (USA)
Also Known As: Germinal
Filming Locations: Valenciennes, Nord, France