Sarah Longwell and Ben Wittes are watching “A French Village,” about the Nazi occupation of a small town in France. While the show first aired in France in 2009 (and ran through 2017), it's finding a new audience in the United States now that’s it been released on Amazon Prime.
If you love the show, you’ll love this podcast. If you don’t know the show, you’ll still love this podcast.
June 18th, 2021 | Season 3 | 1 hr 10 mins
Love and resistance is in the air on this week's episode of A French Village Podcast. Sarah and Ben discuss S3 Eps 7 & 8.
June 11th, 2021 | Season 3 | 54 mins 11 secs
a french village, ben wittes, france, holocaust, hortense, nazis, sarah longwell
Hortense has a moment of redemption… but did she earn it? Some of the scheming from these episodes seems a little too contrived. Some of the escapes seem improbably, too—but then again, so did the ones in real life. Is the show playing games with the numbers? Will it ever not be soul-crushing again? Please?
June 4th, 2021 | Season 3 | 1 hr 6 mins
Sarah and Ben discuss how Nazi’s used used child separation as a tool as they break down a difficult pair of episodes.
May 28th, 2021 | Season 3 | 1 hr 4 mins
But seriously, how and why is Hortense alive? Sarah is confused; Ben is indignant. Warning: Season 3 has some nasty Holocaust stuff. The nature of Vichy changes as the deportation start. Class, status, and nationality distinctions deteriorate within the Jewish community (communities?). Servier is a stand-in for bureaucracy, and he gets much worse in these episodes. The printing press caper put the bourgeoning resistance in a difficult situation.
May 21st, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 7 mins
Sarah and Ben discuss the relationship drama of the last two episodes of Season 2. Plus, the future of the show.
May 14th, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 5 mins
Sarah is anti-fingers in the foie gras, but anti-anti-smoothing. Bad decisions are driving the plot. Getting cold doesn’t make you sick! Don’t torture where you eat. Big promotion for Marchetti. Kurt is back! Should Lucienne have gone to Switzerland with him? Beriot has his best episode so far. Mueller has a weird concept of respect.
May 7th, 2021 | Season 2 | 56 mins 28 secs
An astute listener is stridently anti-Lucienne. Sarah and Ben are more circumspect. Beriot and Lecienne’s father have very different drinking styles. Marcel Larcher has a lucky day! The competition for grossest character heats up (or at least for second place). Sarah should have been more specific about her aspirations for Elise Stefanik. Daniel has to make some life-and-death decisions. Also, the Communists are in these episodes.
April 30th, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 2 mins
Sarah stans Lucienne, while she and Ben debate Sarah's (i.e. the character, not the host) affair. Beriot encourages. . . dancing! Hortense just gets worse. The prostitutes in the brothel are the most effective resistance. Ben tells true stories that resemble the show—plus the greatest obituary he's ever read: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/world/europe/robert-de-la-rochefoucauld-noted-for-war-exploits-dies-at-88.html
April 23rd, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 12 mins
The Communists become cannon fodder for the Soviets. Ben and Sarah dive deep on collaborators, terrorists, and the resistance. Lucienne and Marie meet again. Sarah and Ben discuss the plausibility of Lucienne's abortion. Hortense is the worst. It's amazing how many people are from Algeria these days. There's a cake competition. Tucker Carlson has entered the chat.
April 16th, 2021 | Season 2 | 1 hr 8 mins
Germany has invaded the Soviet Union, so the Communists have a new perspective. Suzanne's admission to Marcel is morally confusing. Schwartz, Heinrich, Larcher, and the deputy prefect have a nice dinner together. Then Schwartz does something kinda badass! We learn more about the Larchers. Sarah's citizenship is in question. All the 8-year-olds find out about Lucienne's bad decisions.
April 9th, 2021 | Season 1 | 1 hr 7 mins
Lorrain and Natacha are no more, but Captain Carrot lives! Sarah gives more info to Heinrich than she means to. Mr. Schwartz is in trouble. Dr. Larcher shows some moral development maybe? Ben reflects on socialists vs. commies, Sarah reflects on who does the right thing and why.
April 2nd, 2021 | Season 1 | 1 hr 10 mins
The persecution of Jews begins in earnest. The spy ring intersects with the ring of Jewish refugees. Is Mr. Schwartz Jewish? Ben fives into the differences between the German Army, the SS, the SD, and the Gestapo. Sarah still can't pronounce De Kervern. Ben reveals his preferred method of torture. Lucienne and Beriot have more awkward encounters. Rings are not first-date appropriate!