1789 1974
The cooperative production of "1789" brought Theatre du Soleil worldwide attention when it was performed at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 1970-71, the first time the company had ventured out of France.

In "1789", the French Revolution is conceived as an extravagant performance piece, a spectacle that is part Brecht, part commedia dell'arte, part puppet show and largely carnival. The revolution that included more street drama than any other is shrewdly reconceived in the terms most accessible and sympathetic to ordinary citizens.

Ariane Mnouchkine's film is not a true work of cinema, though; it is a filmed version of actual performances by the Theatre du Soleil, shot in 1973 at the end of the play's three-year run. As the movie begins, we see actors putting on elaborate stage makeup, and through the next two and a half hours we rarely lose sight of the audience, standing spectators who look as if they are gathered at a sideshow. The film insists on remaining a self-consciously theatrical experience.

Director: Ariane Mnouchkine
Cast: Roland Amstutz, Lucia Bensasson, Jean-Claude Bourbault
Country: France
Genre: Documentary

DVD9+DVD5 | PAL 16:9 | 02:25:40 | 9.73 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English

-- "1789 – 40 ans apres" by Stefano Missio (48 min). Interview with Ariane Mnouchkine and some of the comedians, with archive images.