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The Life of Emile Zola

Welcome to the review of the Best Picture winner of 1938.

Wanna know a secret? We actually watched this one several months ago. We were supposed to watch it after the Great Ziegfeld, but I got them mixed up. Oops.

This film was the true story of a writer and activist in late 19th century France, where the military ruled with an iron fist and anyone who dared to stand up for what was right was considered in contempt of the law. The movie depicts young Zola writing furiously on “taboo” issues of the day and becoming an extremely successful voice of the people. He advocated for the workers by bringing to light working conditions and so forth. It reminded me of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. If you have never read it, please run to the store this minute and pick up a copy. Right now. Did you get it? Good, then we can continue. It may be considered pure propaganda by some, but I think it was truly enlightening and extremely bold writing for the day. It opened some eyes in Washington and effected change for factory workers in this country.

*stepping off my soap box. And now back to the film *

The Life of Emile Zola follows just that…his life. It chronicles how he wasn’t afraid to stand up for the common man, and for what was right, even if that meant he had to stand up against the most powerful force in the nation. Hats off to Emile Zola and his courageous life! The Life of Emile Zola is highly recommended. Watch it!


Autumn Hilden said...

i studied emile zola for several weeks in french in college. it was one of the last french classes i took. not because of zola, but because of the professor. she had a superhuman ability to speak without breathing (read: pausing), which probably explains why her voice was barely louder than a whisper. i changed my french major to a minor after that.