Village life in the 1820s, whether in Germany or France, was much the same as it was in the Middle Ages. The peasantry was seen as a cash-cow for the landowning aristocracy, or for the government, according to circumstances. Their lot was extremely difficult, for they were heavily taxed and were often drafted to work (for nothing) on government projects. Indeed, avoiding the punitive taxation suffered by peasants was one reason for the founding of the great Medieval cities. In this black-and-white German language film, the citizens of Kombach have been pushed beyond their limit, and they organize to steal back their tax money (and some more besides). Though they succeed in this, they practice no deception whatever. The authorities discover the theft quickly and respond with characteristic brutality.
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