This impressionistic account of peasant life in Brittany around the time of World War I is a reminder that Chabrol began his career with a bleak portrayal of the provinces in Le Beau Serge. This is a much rosier picture, attractively - perhaps too attractively - shot by Jean Rabier. Stressing the poverty, it caresses the eye with picturesque interiors worthy of any model village, while the peasants decked out in their national costumes look like delegates to a folk-lore congress. Hardly another Tree of Wooden Clogs, but it does have charm, sparks of Chabrol clownery, and plenty of intriguing information about superstitions and customs. One problem is that the autobiographical book by Pierre Jakez Hélias on which it is based has obviously been too severely truncated. In the latter half, particularly, attempts to get to grips with the social and cultural implications of being Breton emerge with curious muddlement.
Cast and crew
Daniel Boulanger, Claude Chabrol
Jacques Dufilho Bernadette Lesache François Cluzet Paul Le Person Michel Blanc Dominique Lavanant