A French Village
Series | In French and German with English subtitles | 7 Seasons (72 episodes, 42–55 minutes each) | Original Release: June 04, 2009
In June 1940, German military forces occupied the fictional French village of Villeneuve. They quickly took control of all aspects of the village’s life and businesses. All political dissent and resistance were brutally suppressed. German officers put pressure on the locals to engage in roundups and to meet strict deportation quotas. The villagers were torn in three directions: (1) to resist and risk capture and execution, (2) to adapt and follow orders, and (3) to actively collaborate with the Germans. The goal was to survive. Individual loyalties, friendships, and even families were tested, sometimes very painfully. After liberation in 1944, the collaborators were vilified and many faced their accusers in court. The ones who were found guilty of collaborating with the Germans were imprisoned or executed.
Why Stream This Film?
No ratings to date, but highly recommended!
- Winner—Série Mania Best Series Award
Two Nominations—Best Television Series, Globes de Cristal Awards
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Impeccably well-researched yet refreshingly relatable, this film deftly avoids genre trappings by focusing just as intensely on the facts as it does on the deceptively (but fictional) figures that move the character-driven plot forward. Fraught with tension and laced with ironic twists and counterpoints.
Tensions and drama come not only from the enemy from beyond the borders, but from how the characters relate to one another. There is brewing love, ruined marriages, unwanted pregnancies, and much more. This film is deftly able to handle all of these myriad plot threads and character lines without ever making the viewer feel overwhelmed.
The creators’ concern with realism translates into a steady scrutiny of the muddy, compromised silent majority, an examination of how living under enemy rule affects character as much as characters. The film isn’t so much about saints and sinners, heroes and villains. Rather, it’s about the fabric of community.
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