February 9, 2017

The Hidden Rebellion is a docudrama produced and directed by Daniel Rabourdin, and written by Mr. Rabourdin and Matthew Donlan, that tells the story of the Guerre de Vendée, the War in the Vendée (pronounced von-DAY), which was a reaction against the anti-clericalism and totalitarianism of the French Revolution.

The Vendée is a department in west-central France, and during the Revolution (1789-1799) sentiment there turned sharply against the intellectuals and bureaucrats in Paris who, in their desire to fabricate human perfection, demanded an end to nearly all aspects of traditional life, most especially Catholicism. Between 1793 and 1796, the Vendeans rose up against the government. Clashes between the people and the French army ensued, and the brutality was sickening. The Hidden Rebellion provides a fair – if one-sided – history of the uprising.

But in the famous phrase of historian Barbara Tuchman (she was referring specifically to the 14th century), the War in the Vendée is also a “distant mirror.” In that historic conflict, we can see prefigured the battles of our own time. The Jacobin highbrows in Paris looked upon the religiosity of the French people in much the same way Washington, D.C. intellectuals disparage people of faith today.

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