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Jean De Florette [DVD]
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In Provence in the 1930s, city-bred hunchback Jean (Gerard Depardieu) brings his family to his mother's old farm with plans for an idyllic life on the land. However, his scheming neighbours, Le Papet (Yves Montand) and Ugoli (Daniel Auteil), covet his farm's little-known water source, and the resulting feud escalates towards tragedy. The story was continued in a second film, 'Manon des Sources', released later the same year.
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French dircetor Claude Berri's stunning adaptation of the acclaimed Marcel Pagnol novel is the winner of numerous international awards and is the world's most popular foriegn language film ever.
City-dweller Jean de Florette (Gerard Depardieu) moves his family to the Provence countryside in the 1920s to forge a new life as a farmer.
But his proud, cocky neighbouring rival Le Ppet (Yves Montand) schemes with his simple-minded nephew Ugolin (Daniel Auteil) to acquire some nearby land ensuring the the novice owner never discovers an all-important natural spring on the property.
A wholly captivating, emotionally powerful and beautifully photographed classic epic of innocence, evil, greed, envy and revenge.
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One doesn't need to travel abroad to find a srikingly different mentality and lifestyle. This appears in full blow here as the straightforward, ambitious, somewhat naive and dreamy city dweller (Depardieu) tries to realise a long term goal of building a farm in a small village in the south of France. He finds himself against the manipulative and conservative patriarch of the village (Montand).
The initial plot is simple but immersive as the characters grow with their environment and the seasons in a beautiful landscape which peaceful appareance hides dark plots fomented by the patriarch and his son. It is not simply a story of the good, the bad and the ugly as each character remains complex with his deeply human side and whose point of view can be understood from the local culture they grew up with.
Taken from a classic French novel, with four of the greatest French actors. A film that has haunted me since I first saw it many years ago.
The film is very good. I don't know if it's true to the book because I haven't read it yet. Good listening practice for my French class and exceptional value for money.
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