Danton is a famous film that was directed by Andrzej Wajda. It was created in France after authorities in Poland closed down studios belonging to Wajda on allegations that he was sympathizing with trade unions. The political events that took place during this period of time influenced him greatly as portrayed in the film.
The film depicts the power struggles that existed in Poland (Cabin 2). The French Revolution which took place between 1789 and 1795 can be compared to the famous Russian Revolution. The armies allied to Louis XVI went beyond the borders of France to rescue Bourbon monarchy causing the entire French people to join the revolution later. Despite the fact that the armies crossed the borders, the fierce battles of the revolution took place in Paris and its environs. The leaders of the revolution in Paris assisted by irate mobs created policies that would have been initially rejected by the population of the country. The direction taken by the revolution was determined by a tiny section of young men who began as idealists before turning into comrades and good friends.
They separated after a few years and became enemies. Those who were considered traitors were taken to the guillotine because of betraying their fatherland (Cabin 3). The film narrates a true story of the life of Georges Danton. Danton played a crucial role in the French Revolution before his guillotining by the state together with others who were equally instrumental in the revolution. The film highlights the political struggles that took place as idealists tried to forge the state.
The idealists fought against the state that purported to care about the welfare of the people yet it had turned tyrannical and corrupt. The film uses the spoken word rather than physical violence to achieve this. The story of the French revolution which started with the relationships among renowned personalities is clearly explained in the film. Among the prominent characters in the film are Maximilien and Georges Danton.
Danton represents a passionate man who has some attributes of dishonesty. He is a respected revolutionary leader whose attitude towards the revolution becomes moderate with time. The moderation he embraces is considered an act of betrayal and Robespierre, who is a moral lawyer, agitates for the trial and subsequent conviction of Danton. Danton protests by screaming as he is pushed to the guillotine. The film which is a co-production of Franco-Polish was directed by Wajda in France. The role of the fanatic Robespierrists in the film is acted by actors from Poland while the loyal and honest Dandonists are represented by actors from France. This probably explains why the government of Poland was not interested in showing the film in the country. The film depicts Danton as someone who is conscious about the revolution unlike Lech Walesa, who speaks on behalf of the solidarity movement of Poland.
Robespierre is portrayed as a person who does not care about the feelings and needs of the citizens. He is a dictator who approves the execution of many people for the good of the country. Danton is used in the film to represent the west while Robespierre stands for the East (Cabin 4). Danton presents a clear picture of the most interesting moments during the French Revolution. It was in the early months of 1794 after a self-imposed retirement that he went back to Paris with the aim of bringing the terror to an end.
January 1793 was a year that witnessed the beheading of Louis and by October the same year, there was mounding terror. This came up after Marie Antoinette, the chatty, Madame Roland, and those who moderated the revolution were killed. Danton followed the advice of his friends who wanted him to go Paris instead of running away although he knew very well that his action was exposing him to the guillotine (Travers 3). The film maintains the chamber-piece characteristic of French Revolution by playing out Danton in numerous confrontations with Robespierre. This makes the scenes of the film dramatic and easy to understand such that a viewer who has no knowledge of what happened during the French revolution finds the film informative. Some of the scenes of the film that are not so compelling include those which try to bring out the political drama by using the context of a city rebelling against a nation. The crowd scenes in the film are important since they remind the viewers about the Hollywood mobs of 1935. Although the reputation of Danton is not completely cleaned up in the film, most of the bad things are not shown on screen.
Things like bribery, love for property and women are mentioned in the film. Danton pleads for forgiveness because it is the public safety committee he formed that enables Robespierre to gain control over the country. The film does not so much focus on the role he played during the 1793 massacre. During the massacre, mobs raided prisons and killed anybody they met (Travers 5). The film effectively dramatizes the conviction of Danton about the fury portrayed by the revolution. The fury of the revolution betrayed the same revolution it was supposed to support. The film can be described as appropriate with regard to its capacity to illuminate the French revolution and the political happenings in Poland.
Cabin, Chris. Danton. 2009. Web. 09 Dec 2011. Travers, James.
Danton (1983). 2000. Web. 09 Dec 2011.