It is interesting how sometimes something that is extremely popular manages to not be on our radar.
Such is the case with ‘Un village français,’ a French televison series that was first seen on French TV in 2009. It has also appeared on Belgian, Swiss, Canadian, and South Korean TV, but has not deigned to be shown in the U.S.
We are hooked. We are binge watching. We are currently in the 4th season. A seventh season is supposedly, if my information is correct, being seen in France this year. This seventh season is apparently the last one.
The plot of the show is the German military invasion of France in a fictional town of the Jura Mountains. The village is obviously put into total disarray and its inhabitants struggle to find their way under the new regime. The series is highly entertaining and educational and you can see the people struggling to figure out their place in the situation. Collaboration and resistance are two different avenues and the series makes it clear how difficult it all is. It starts in 1940 (season 1 and 2 roughly cover this year) and the rest of the seasons each cover another year of the occupation.
The series shows political groups, political dissent, anti-Semitism, the rounding up of the Jewish population for deportation, disaffected youths not wanting to take part in the German policy of ‘Service du travail obligatoire’ (a forced labor program of manpower for German factories), and plain old routine daily relationships between the French, the Germans, and all of the inherent trials and tribulations.
Finding this series for view turned out to be harder than I would have thought. I was originally going to purchase it, but found out that I could not get all of the seasons. I believe I looked to Netflix and Amazon, and either could not find it at all or not the complete series. I finally ended up finding the DVDs at the local library. Luckily for us, no one seems to know about it and we have been able to easily procure the different seasons.
What scares me most is that watching it makes me think of the current political situation in our country and realizing, as I already had, that it is way too easy to sit back, relax, and think that it cannot happen here. If we are not vigilant…