A FRENCH VILLAGE (Un village français) is how it shows us what occupation meant for the occupied country in detail and precision, with all the nasty ironies intact. What it also makes so very clear is how impossible it was (without giving up your life, of course) not to betray everything and everyone -- from your country to your family to your friends at some point or other in this awful occupation. We human beings have enough trouble being kind and just during normal times. When you're part of the conquered, difficulties quadruple.
Frédéric Krivine (shown above), Emmanuel Daucé and Philippe Triboit, with M. Triboit directing many of the episodes, the series has now reached five seasons -- only two of which have appeared so far on DVD. But these 24 roughly-45-to-50-minute segments are enough to give viewers a fuller look at what "occupation" meant than anything from anywhere I've so far seen.
Robin Renucci, above, left) -- along with his pampered wife (Audrey Fleurot, above, center, of Spiral) -- who is appointed town mayor by the Germans and must then work out one problem after another.
Thierry Godard, also of Spiral), who gladly cooperates with the enemy in order to reap the many benefits. Among the various villains is one in particular (played smoothly and sleekly by the steely-yet-appealing Richard Sammel, above), who takes Nazi sex and pain to new heights (and lows).
Fabrizio Rongione), who also figures heavily into the plot.)
MHz Networks, A French Village is one of those rare television series that should appeal to history buffs, seniors who still have a memory of WWII, and just about anyone who loves a good tale well told. Click here to see how to get the series now.