There are few films about the French Revolution that do not speak to the 20th -- and 21st Century. This film, made during the Polish Government's attempt to suppress the Solidarity movement (forcing the film production crew, director and actors to decamp to France), quivers with the rage and fear caused by both Terrors. Naive and cynical characters, those who see themselves as pure (Robespierre) and those who flaunt their flawed morality and broken idealism (Danton), are equally arrogant, but only one has the Guillotine available and is willing to use it. He is so driven to manufacture a Republic of Virtue that, Stalinlike, he has the artist David paint out participants in the Tennis Court Oath, and David complies only after a mild protest. Finally, he intimidates the Tribunal into condemning Danton any way they can, making himself the supreme judge and jury. In the film Robespierre only realizes that in all revolutions, power - even Terror - and idealism cannot make men virtuous when Danton is dead, and the viewer knows that Robespierre, too, will be guillotined in a few months. As a survivor of the 1980s, I am grateful for this film, which demonstrates the deadly nature of ideaologies and the cyclical phenomenon of Revolution. It also reveals how history on film benefits from the power of contemporary events to charge, even over-charge, the artists, directors, and the viewers. Perhaps this is where history teaching should start, after all, with the fear and rage and despair of art, before the rational analysis begins.