Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. France/Switzerland/Italy, 1986. DD Productions, Films A2, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Renn Productions, Télévision Suisse-Romande. Screenplay by Claude Berri, Gerard Brach, based on the novel by Marcel Pagnol. Cinematography by Bruno Nuytten. Produced by Pierre Grunstein. Music by Jean-Claude Petit. Production Design by Bernard Vezet. Costume Design by Sylvie Gautrelet. Film Editing by Noelle Boisson, Sophie Coussein, Herve de Luze, Jeanne Kef, Arlette Langmann, Corinne Lazare, Catherine Serris. Golden Globe Awards 1987. National Board of Review Awards 1987.
First part of two films that is completed by its even better sequel Manon Of The Spring. Gerard Depardieu plays a humpbacked farmer who buys a property in the beautiful countryside and has trouble finding its well. His jealous neighbours (Yves Montand, Daniel Auteuil) know exactly where the irrigation for the land is, but want it for themselves and so hide the water source in order to drive Depardieu and his family away. The outcome of their greed has dire circumstances, both at the end of this film and even more at the end of the second part. Beautiful cinematography and terrific acting.