Friday, November 26, 2010

Germinal (1993)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 6 out of 10
Director: Claude Berri
Starring: Renaud, Judith Henry, Gérard Depardieu, Miou-Miou
Genre: Drama, Romance, Foreign (French)
Run Time: 160 Minutes
Language: French with English subtitles

Germinal is a story of struggle, pain, romance, and desperation.  Its incredibly heavy to watch, but well worth  the time.  Its a good movie for a slow, rainy day when you're really not interested in going out or doing anything, because it can make you a little depressed to watch it.  Still, it is a powerful story based off the novel by Emile Zola.

Germinal takes place in France in the 1800s.  Étienne Lantier (Renaud) comes to a small mining community in search of work.  He is taken under the wing of the large, personable miner Toussaint Maheu (Depardieu) and is brought to live with him and his family.  Étienne soon falls in love with Maheu's daughter Catherine (Henry) and she falls in love with him.

Soon, however, troubles flare on the horizon as the mine owner continues to lower the pay of his workers, eventually forcing them to strike.  Étienne and Maheu lead the rebellion, but when things become too difficult, Catherine runs off to live with her lover, the slimy drunk Chaval, who works for a neighboring mine.

Germinal shows us all a glimpse into the heart of the human spirit.  When the pressure becomes too great, when families are starving because their wages are not enough to feed them all, when the very place that gives you money to keep you alive is also killing you, what do you do?  It's a powerful movie, incredibly sad, but incredibly beautiful and intense.  If you enjoy foreign dramas this is the film for you.


  1. I'm going to Netflix right now Emmy!

    Oh look! The 'Post A Comment' comment is fixed!

  2. Steven, enjoy your Netflicks! :D You'll have to tell me what you thought of everything!

    And yeah, I fixed the "Post a Comment" comment. It was prolly good to update anyway. The old one was rather bland, don't you agree?


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