Yet Another “Great Revival” Coming From French Village

Since yesterday, the small French town Moret-sur-Loing has become the setting for a historical TV series telling the story of CCP leaders who studied in France in the 1920s. The series will air from 1 October National Day on the channel CCTV 1. And no less than 300 million viewers should watch the “typical small French village” Moret-sur-Loing.

A Chinese production team has invested in the town for TV series entitled “Our French years (我们的法兰西岁月)”, telling the history of some CCP leaders, including Deng Xiaoping, who came to stay in France in the 1920s.

Zhou En'lai, Deng Xiaoping, Li Fuchun, Nie Rongzhen in 1924

“At that time, there was a movement among Chinese young intellectuals, said Wang Fang-Hui, director of production. Some came to France to learn of European communism. On their return, they became the companions of Mao.” Until tonight, no less than sixty people, all from China, are hard at work in the city for this series that celebrates the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party.

Moret-sur-Loing has caught the eye of the producers, and there’s no doubt the Chinese viewers will navigate between the old twelfth-century church, the cobbled streets and the Place Royale. “For this scene, they unload trucks at a warehouse of vegetables,” said Wang Fang-Hui. “because these young intellectuals were often in search of odd jobs.” The warehouse in question is actually … the retirement home named the Home of Good Saint Jacques, led by Isabelle. “We were contacted by the film production team,” she said. “They sent a brochure explaining the history of the series, and they came last week to scout locations.”This place has already hosted several films. The team just removed a few signs and hid the door number,” says Isabelle.

Other parts of Moret to serve as backdrop: the town hall square, the mill and an old building that will serve as a country hotel. “The city was very helpful,” said Wang Fang-Hui. “it had blocked the area and set up an alternating traffic.”