● Toronto International Film Festival, Special Presentation
● Tokyo International Film Festival, Official Selection
It’s 1915 and the women of the Pardier farm are working the fields. Hortense (Nathalie Baye) with the help of her daughter, Solange (Laura Smet) manages the farm while the men, including her two sons and Solange’s husband are at the battlefront. Only Hortense’s elderly brother Henri remains. They hire a young worker Francine (Iris Bry) to help for the harvest.
When one of the sons, Georges, comes back on leave to the farm he meets Francine and a correspondence begins between them. While we never see the war, its presence looms in the narrative, through the short visits of the men on leave from the front, the disjuncture with the farm-life prompting powerful emotions. Xavier Beauvois’ (Of Gods and Men) latest wonder is a beautifully paced intimate account of the peasant world and the women heroes of the First World War. The farm is portrayed as a living vibrant entity through the exquisite cinematography of Caroline Champetier, with succession of short scenes constructing the authentic life and gestures of plowing, sowing, churning.
WHERE AND WHEN?
16.00, Sunday 4th, March / Gate Cinema
Notes by Marie-Pierre Richard
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