This series, which introduced the novice actor Éric Damain in 1969, is a classic that continues to resonate through the generations. Set in 1969, the story depicts angry peasants protesting across France, brandishing signs that read “Jacquou avec nous!”
Television viewers, both parents and children, are avidly following the six 90-minute episodes of Jacquou the Rebel, broadcasted on Saturday evenings on the main channel starting from October 4th. In this tale, 10-year-old Jacquou, driven by the loss of his mother and the condemnation of his father, dedicates his life to seeking justice.
Written in 1896 by Eugène Le Roy, the story is inspired by the hardships of rural life during the time of the Restoration, solidifying Le Roy’s reputation as a master of regional literature. The series’ filming and pre-production spanned nine months, with extensive research conducted in the Périgord region to understand the daily lives and challenges of farmers, particularly focusing on the sharecropping system.
Jacquou the Rebel was a modern portrayal of a peasant revolt that took place two centuries earlier, known as a “jacquerie”. After a thorough search, Éric Damain was chosen to portray the lead character, despite his lack of acting experience.
The success of the series was immense, captivating millions of viewers and leading to Damain’s unexpected rise to fame. Despite his initial reservations about pursuing a career in acting, Damain continued to work in television and film, ultimately transitioning into production.
The series was later colorized, cementing its status as a timeless classic.