Marseillaise, La (DVD)
In Jean Renoir’s La Marseillaise one of the greatest French directors tells the epic story of the French Revolution with scope and intimacy. Disregarded in its time, it is only now emerging as a remarkably innovative work of historical excavation. Made towards the end of France’s left wing Popular Front government when Europe was on the brink of war, La Marseillaise is a markedly political film about a country in flux. Funded by a public subscription service and filmed in a jaunty newsreel style, it follows a cross-section of people—from the citizens of Marseilles to Louis XVI—who are affected by the shifting political and social forces in the early days of the French Revolution.
- Audio commentary by film critic Nick Pinkerton
- Archival interview with Jean Renoir
- Booklet essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew