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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.
 
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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?…
 
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 deportations start. Class, status, and nationality distinctions deteriorate within the Jewish community (communities?). Servier is a stand-in for bureaucracy, and he gets much worse …
 
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.…
 
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 ha…
 
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/worl…
 
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 e…
 
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