Germinal (1993)

Original Title : Germinal
Director : Claude Berri
Writer : Claude Berri
Arlette Langmann
Émile Zola
Genre : Drama
Country : Belgium
Language : French
Producer : Claude Berri , Pierre Grunstein , Bodo Scriba
Music : Jean-Louis Roques
Photography : Yves Angelo
IMDB ID : 0107002
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poster for "Germinal" by Claude Berri (1993)
Germinal (1993) - Claude Berri


Miou-Miou Maheude
Renaud II
Jean Carmet Vincent Maheu dit Bonnemort
Judith Henry Catherine Maheu
Jean-Roger Milo Chaval
Gérard Depardieu Toussaint Maheu
Laurent Terzieff Souvarine
Laurent Terzieff Souvarine


It's mid 19th century, north of France. The story of a coal miner's town. They are exploited by the mine's owner. One day the decide to go on strike, and then the authorities repress them


A French epic masterpiece and "must see" for movie buffs. "Germinal", based on a novel by Emile Zola, is an epic film which studies the anatomy of a strike in a 19th century French coal mine. During it's 2.5+ hour run time, the film shows the wretchedness of coal miners, their deplorable living conditions, their attempts to organize, negotiations, strike, rioting, police suppression, sabotage, etc. The story is woven around a handful of characters who represent the forces at work, management, union, profiteers,scabs, etc. About Zola's novel, Havelock Ellis wrote: "It was neither amusing enough nor outrageous enough to attract the multitude". So it is with the film which emphasizes realism over romanticism and exists more as a study of a timeless social/political issue than pure commercial entertainment. A must see for cinema buffs but not likely have broad commercial appeal.