Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Les Misérables Sadfest

Just entered my apartment with puffy eyes and the sniffles after seeing that movie. I don't think I've cried during a movie since some other time I've probably cried to a movie. Although an inspiring film, the overall battle where almost all were lost was in reality, an unsuccessful one in French history. The only happiness in Les Mis is during homage to all the dead people.

This Parisian uprising, named the June Rebellion, was carried out in 1832 as a direct result of the 1830 July Revolution in which Charles X was overthrown and replaced by a different king, Louis-Phillipe. Well, what the hell? The overthrowing of a monarchy only to be replaced with a monarchy? No, ça ne me sert à rien!

This beauty (the postcard version hangs on my fridge after I purchased it from the Louvre (without seeing the original while I was there (I know (whatever (stupid, I know (it can be my excuse to go back)))))) was painted in 1830 depicting this July Revolution and not the French Revolution as I always just assumed. Originally thinking that the artist just liked boobies, after further research, the woman represented is no woman, but Liberty in human form. Bare breasted, bare footed and stepping over everything/one while pressing forward. Different classes are represented as well, showing that discontent was felt among many. The little boy with guns-a-blazin', is said to be the inspiration for the little boy in Les Mis. Fast forward two years from the July Revolution, and you get the probably-would've-been-forgotten-if-it-weren't-for-Les-Mis June Rebellion of 1832.

Welp, the people weren't happy with Louis-Phillipe either. Installing him as leader didn't lead to the change the people of France wanted, so Parisian Republicans led by student societies attempted to start a revolution. The rebellion was chosen to begin during the funeral of Jean Maximilien Lamarque, a liberal politician who showed sympathy to the lower class.

A man named Michael Geoffroy was charged with starting the rebellion by waving a red flag (like Enjolras did in Les Mis) but Geoffroy survived and received a prison sentence unlike Enjolras' fate in the film. HE WAS SHOT AND DIED. HE'S DEAD. HANGING UPSIDE-DOWN OUTSIDE A WINDOW. SOMEHOW. Needless to say, the rebellion failed to turn into a revolution and it wouldn't be until 1848 that Louis-Phillipe was overthrown during the Third French Revolution.

The rebellion of 1832 was unsuccessful. The *people who kept fighting when hope had already been lost when the rebellion failed to spread gives meaning to the phrase, "Give me liberty, or give me death." Man, they weren't kidding. *except Victor Hugo, author of Les Mis, who hid between columns while shooting was going on.  Also, another way to incorporate the grumpy cat into something.


  1. Fun and informative post. I had no idea that the painting depicted the July revolution. I loved the movie too :) Thanks

    1. Hey, thanks so much. Still working on creating this weird little blog, so your positive feedback makes me happy. Thanks!