Danton

A dense historical fiction movie “Danton” directed by Polish director, Andrzej Wajda in a French Polish joint production. It won the Bafta in 1983. The story takes place in 1794 during the Reign of Terror in France with Maximilien Robespierre pitted against Georges Danton. Robespierre is the fiercest advocate of the liberty of people but he has apparently turned to be a dictator. Danton is a popular figure of those times and the people are with him. Both sides have their own set of supporters. The story details that part when Danton and his friends are accused of plotting against the Republic and made to stand trial. The trial in those days were more farcical than today’s which says a lot. Basically Danton is accused of sedition in today’s times. But he says i conspired for peace and amnesty for the people. Some gems from the movie “The final safeguard against despotism is a free press”. The press guys are not allowed inside the court room and take notes. “A defendant’s right to be heard is not a privilege, it is simply justice”. This is uttered by one of his party members in a kind of Parliament of those days, called the Committee. “Politics has nothing to do with justice” which sadly we are witnessing in today’s times as well. “We send you Republic’s enemies, your duty is not to judge them but to eliminate them” this is uttered by Robespierre to the judge, shades of what we are seeing today as well. Wojciech Pszoniak as Robespierre has done a brilliant job and Gerard Depardieu as Danton with his usual theatrics. There is not many female interests in the movie. 

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