21 August 2006 | funnyb
A real historical challenge, and a poignant evocation
A fiction about the history of Alsace, beautiful land at the east of France and west of Germany. Between the Rhine river and the Vosges mountains, the two big countries have fought for decades to keep or reconquest it. Alsace was French before 1870, then was lost in a war and became Elsass and German, till 1918. Then another war gave it back its French name and belonging. In 1939, in turn, Germany occupied the land till 1945. Then France recovered it again. Each time, everything in Alsace/Elsass changed according to the last war winning country: language, laws, loyalty, despite where the hearts of Alsatians actually belonged to. Children of former French parents would be obliged to speak exclusively German, or reciprocally. Young men would be recruited against their will in the German army to fight the French army, their previous countrymen. Against this imperialism and chronic abuse from both parts, Alsatians developed a world for themselves, with a strong local identity, using their own language. By now the land has been French for more than sixty years, and passions have calmed down. However it remains special, with its wounds and painful history, but also with its wealth and beauties, and somewhat apart. Today, the capital city of Europe is located in Alsace (Strasbourg) which is a true revenge on History. The mini-series "Les deux Mathilde ou les Alsaciens" tells the story of an Alsatian family from 1870 to nowadays, and how the land changed and suffered at each war and after. It was a very difficult challenge to show this in a fiction work, and my opinion is that the final result deserves praise. If you ever go to Europe, take the time to see Alsace, you won't regret it. I have lived there for 26 years and keep it in my heart, forever.