This is the antidote needed after Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution.
This is Saint-Just -- with natural authority, dignity, and a grand, tragic, resolute and sublime aura:
My translation of the dialogue:
COUTHON – Yes, write. (reciting) “Citizen-soldiers, generals and officers, armies of the Republic. The National Convention has fallen in the hands of rascals...”
(Couthon's voice fades, as Robespierre slowly walks to Saint-Just, who's standing near the window of the Hôtel de Ville.)
ROBESPIERRE – Why don’t you say anything?
SAINT-JUST – You know it. “In the name of the French people…” What people? It is not here.
ROBESPIERRE – Why did you follow me?
SAINT-JUST – “You, who sustain the fragile patrie against the torrents of despotism and intrigue… I do not know you, but you are a great man. You are not only the deputy of a province; you are the one of humanity, and of the Republic.”
ROBESPIERRE – What is this?
SAINT-JUST – You don’t remember?
ROBESPIERRE – No.
SAINT-JUST – One day, back in 1790, a young man from Blérancourt wrote a letter to a deputy he admired through his speeches. This deputy; it was you, Robespierre. This young man; it was I.
ROBESPIERRE – So, you wrote to me?
SAINT-JUST – And I did not change.
ROBESPIERRE – I was the loneliest man of the Constituante. And now, I am alone again. Always.
SAINT-JUST – And I…
ROBESPIERRE – Everything is lost, isn’t it?
SAINT-JUST – Yes, it is lost. It could not be otherwise. Considering who we are, both of us. Considering what we think.
ROBESPIERRE – Why didn’t you help us? Give us any advice?
SAINT-JUST – We possessed seventeen companies of gunners and thirty-two cannons. The Convention only had one company. We had to, at 19:00, lead two companies in front of the main door of the Convention; at the East door, one company; at the West door, two companies. We had to, at 19:30, invade the committees and immediately arrest all the members. We had to, at 19:45, invade the Convention, proclaim the Constitution of 1793 and outlaw Tallien, Fréron, Barras and all the other rotten scoundrels. We had to send, at the School of Mars, two companies to rally the students, the officers and the troops. We had to, at 20:00, in Paris, proclaim the triumph of the Commune. And the Insurrection of the Apathetic would have been crowned the Insurrection of the Bold.
ROBESPIERRE – And you did nothing?
SAINT-JUST – If I had, would you have approved it?
ROBESPIERRE – No…
SAINT-JUST – The People of 10 August had the right to invade the Tuileries. The People of the 31 May and of the 5 September, had the right to invade the Convention. Not the armies.
ROBESPIERRE – Yes…
SAINT-JUST – Today, all that was left to us was the dictatorship of the armies. The military dictatorship. We would have been suspended in a void. Robespierre, consul of the Republic. Saint-Just, consul of the Republic.
ROBESPIERRE – Of which Republic?
Edit: And if someone feels adventurous enough to watch it all in French without subtitles, I think I just found the whole second film online: http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/
This is brilliant. And how apt.