Presented as a preview at the Séries Mania festival, Germinal is the new French back-to-school event series. We saw the first episodes and we tell you why this new adaptation of the work of Émile Zola deserves a look.
Thirty years after Claude Berri’s film, France Télévisions has chosen to adapt Germinal in mini-series and to make it his first major project resulting from a consequent international strategy. A Franco-Italian co-production, this new iteration of Émile Zola’s literary classic takes us back to the revolts of the miners in the northern settlements of France in the 19th century.
And what better than the Séries Mania festival, relocated to Lille in Hauts-de-France for three years, to present Germinal as a world premiere. With a special screening at Wallers-Arenberg, one of the many filming locations with the former Oignies mining site, among others, and screenings in cinemas in Lille, France Télévisions and Séries Mania intend to promote knowledge. – make France in terms of historical series.
In the north, it was the settlements
In view of the first episodes of Germinal, whose screenplay is signed Julien Lilti (former journalist and screenwriter on Hippocrate) and whose production has been entrusted to David Hourrègue (Skam France), we can only rejoice at the ambitious, profound and panting.
While remaining faithful to the rebellious spirit of the northern miners against the abusive measures of employers resulting from the economic crisis, the plot of the six-part miniseries offers more room for secondary characters and female voices, who also take the power of the revolt.
This modernity, welcome to Zola’s universal work, is part of a relevant contemporary vision that echoes the topicality of the crisis that France is going through. If the writing is brilliant and playful, thanks to Julien Lilti and his team of writers (Loïc Barrère, Chérif Sais, Samir Oubechou, Maud Garnier, Clémence Lebatteux, Mélusine Raynaud and Cheikna Sankaré), the production is not to be outdone.
David Hourrègue offers breathtaking and worked shots, with a sublime photograph of Xavier Dolleans, both in the scenes of everyday life in the settlements as in the comings and goings of the well-to-do in their splendid and luxurious homes.
The fabulous work on image and sound is felt all the more in the muscular sequences of revolt and in the depths of the mines where the director brings poetry and radiance to these faces and these bodies crushed by indecently remunerated labor.
From the promising introductory scene of the first episode, the tone is set. The revolt will be waged drum beating and the corons will rise up against oppression, in a frantic rhythm and on the background of conquering music, composed by Audrey Ismaël, regardless of the price, over the six episodes that Germinal compose.
As with the work of Zola and with the adaptation of Claude Berri, we once again take a passion for this choral uprising, not without clashes, and its determined, endearing and nuanced characters, who will launch a necessary strike movement. to hope to improve their living conditions and regain their dignity.
With an impeccable cast, made up of seasoned actors (Guillaume de Tonquédec, Thierry Godard, Alix Poisson, Natacha Lindinger, Sami Bouajila) and promising and confirming young talents (Louis Peres, Rose-Marie Perreault, Marilou Aussilloux, Aliocha Schneider, Max Baissette de Malglaive), Germinal is a masterful and flamboyant reinterpretation of the work of Zola who gives himself the means to fulfill his ambitions and which transcribes with force and intensity the climate of social tension reigning at that time.
Germinal will be available in full on SALTO from September 1 and broadcast later on France 2.