Friday, February 9, 2007

Friday Foreign Film Review

Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring
Adapted from Marcel Pagnol's novel Manon des Sources

Actors: Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu
Director: Claude Berri
Language: French
Rated: PG for both
Length: 233 minutes combined

Words cannot describe how much I love these films, which really must be seen together. The review below from Amazon sums up the storyline. The emotional impact these films had on me was huge. They haunted me so much I couldn't sleep the night I watched them. I thought about them for weeks afterwards and still have even throughout the years. The cinematography is gorgeous (it's France!), the acting is superb, and you will never forget the characters you will meet or the fate that befalls them. Available through third party sellers on or through Netflix.

#94 of the Arts and Faith Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films

Rating: A+

Editorial Review ~ ~ A truly impressive French film destined to become a modern masterpiece, Jean de Florette is an evocative adaptation of the highly regarded French novel. Two 1920s farmers engage in a bitter rivalry as one tries to tend to a plot of land and the other deviously undermines his efforts in order to conceal a valuable spring. The peasant farmer (Gérard Depardieu) who comes to the countryside to tend the land he has inherited is a naive and trusting soul seeking only to provide for his wife and daughter, while his neighbor (Yves Montand) is intent on doing whatever he can to discourage and demoralize the farmer so that he can take the land for himself. This simple tale unfolds in a wrenching fashion to a tragic conclusion, bringing forth questions about human nature and the prevalence and price of greed. Along with its follow-up, Manon of the Spring, this film will leave an indelible impression on anyone who sees it. --Robert Lane --[This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.] Officially licensed South Korean release features original FRENCH audio with Optional Subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Korean.

1 comment:

sage said...

I saw both of these films back in the late 80s--first in a theater (an old theater in Pittsburgh that played foreign films) and later on video. I agree, they're beautiful and haunting and now I need to watch them again. Thanks.