Germinal: 5 things to know about the France 2 event series

the essential The series “Germinal”, from the novel by Emile Zola, is broadcast on France 2 from this Wednesday 27 October. Several European televisions participated in the financing. The series is greeted by the former miners of Hauts-de-France.

This is the back-to-school series for France 2. Emile Zola’s novel has been adapted into an ambitious series. “Germinal” was shot for several months in Hauts-de-France, 27 years after Claude Berri’s film with Renaud and Gérard Depardieu.

  • A series of 6 episodes

“Germinal” will air in six episodes. Its main actors are Guillaume de Tonquédec, Thierry Godard and Alix Poisson. It was produced by Toulouse-based David Hourrègue who has several TV series such as Cut or Skam to his credit. “Germinal” takes up the story of Etienne Lantier, a young worker enlisted in the mines of Montsou, revolted by the poverty and exploitation of the people of coal. When the mining company lowers wages, the “black mouths” will rebel, go on strike before suffering hunger and violent repression.

  • A fiction faithful to Emile Zola

Like the novel by 1885, the series “pays homage” to these proletarians crushed by the system, shows “their dangerous, exhausting labor, their dignity”, and the beginnings of the social struggle, according to the screenwriter, Julien Lilti. “If at times we have reworked the plot, (…) I think we did it with a lot of fidelity to Zola’s original intention.”

  • An award-winning series

“Germinal” premiered in August at the Lille Séries Mania TV series festival. She received the Audience Award.

  • A colossal budget

“Germinal” took six months to shoot last winter. 2400 extras were recruited. 5 tons of mud and 12 tons of coal were used to darken the landscape of the old Oignies pit in the Pas -de-Calais, one of the filming sites. 150 technicians were mobilized. 700 costumes were used. The series cost million euros and was funded by France 2, RAI in Italy and ZDF in Germany.

  • A favorable reception in Hauts-de-France

The former miners of Hauts-de-France – several were consultants on the set – greeted the series which reproduces the extreme dangerousness of the mining professions and the class struggle experienced at the time.

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