A Word from the Editor
This issue offers three assessments of Pierre Schoeller’s 2018 film on the French Revolution, Un peuple et son roi [One Nation, One King]. The movie opened in Paris at the end of September 2018, drawing enthusiastic endorsements from some historians and film reviewers and criticisms from others. The first since Jean Renoir’s La Marseillaise (1939) to treat the Revolution from below, Schoeller privileges the people over the Court, making working-class Parisian women pivotal to the struggle for equality. Marie Antoinette, meanwhile, is a shadowy figure, consort to a Louis XVI laden with anxiety. Historians of the period, Peter McPhee, Jack and Jane Censer, and Janine Lanza offer three takes, with diminishing degrees of enthusiasm. Are the film’s omissions insurmountable or do they provide ground for discussion? All point out how the film might be used in teaching. As I write on this 25 April 2019, the film has not yet been released in the United States. A subtitled region 2 DVD is however available from the UK, and, of course in French only from France. The trailer, embedded in the middle of the second review, will give you a sense of the film’s élan.
University at Buffalo, SUNY