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A Feature film by Claude Berri

Produced by Pathé Production

Release in France : 29/09/1993


    During France's Second Empire (1852-1870), a jobless young man named Etienne Lantier accepts to work in the mines, beginning a veritable descent into hell. In the Northern mining town of Montsou, Etienne discovers wretched poverty, alcoholism and foul relationships. He encounters unscrupulous men like Chaval and generous souls like Toussaint Maheu, all of them under the lash of unholy capitalism. Lantier joins the socialist struggle for dignity, but the mine owners counterattack. When wages are cut, a huge strike is called, leading to bloodshed and starvation. In the midst of all this misery there is one bright spark : Etienne's love for Catherine.
    The strike is crushed by the army, but Etienne is left with the hope that the blood will not have been shed in vain.

    Actors (33)

    Production and distribution (5)

    Executive Producer :

    Pathé Production

    Foreign production companies :

    Artisti Associati International, Alternative Films

    French distribution :

    Pathé Films

    Co-productions :

    France 2 Cinéma, DD Productions

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Pathé Films

    Box Office: Total results

    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (24)

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    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

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    Full credits (14)

    Executive Producer :

    Claude Berri

    Line Producer :

    Pierre Grunstein

    Director of Photography :

    Yves Angelo

    Production Manager :

    Patrick Bordier

    Assistant editor :

    Mathilde Cousin

    Art Director :

    Riton Dupire-Clément

    Costume designers :

    Bernadette Villard, Caroline de Vivaise, Sylvie Gautrelet

    Author of original work :

    Émile Zola

    Screenwriters :

    Arlette Langmann, Claude Berri

    Sound Recordist :

    Pierre Gamet

    Editor :

    Hervé de Luze

    Production Designers :

    Thanh At Hoang, Christian Marti

    Music Composer :

    Jean-Louis Roques

    Still Photographer :

    Benoît Barbier

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :

    Literary adaptation

    Production language :


    Coproducer countries :

    France, Belgium, Italy

    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    Majority French (France, Belgium, Italy)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    2 h 40 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Aspect ratio :


    Audio format :

    Dolby SR

    Posters (1)


    Festival Selections (3)

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 1994

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 1994)

    Selection (12)

    Best Original Music : Jean-Louis Roques

    Best Supporting Actor : Jean-Roger Milo

    Best Supporting Actress : Judith Henry

    Best Costume Design : Sylvie Gautrelet, Bernadette Villard

    Best Cinematography : Yves Angelo

    Best Sound : Pierre Gamet, Dominique Hennequin

    Best Film

    Best Production Design : Thanh At Hoang, Christian Marti

    Best Director : Claude Berri

    Best Editing : Hervé de Luze

    Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) : Claude Berri, Arlette Langmann

    Best Actress : Miou-Miou


    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 1994

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 1994)

    Awards (2)

    César Award for Best Cinematography : Yves Angelo

    César Award for Best Costume Design : Sylvie Gautrelet, Bernadette Villard