The troubled mood of guilt, recrimination and persecution that plagued France at the end of WWII has rarely been even hinted at by that country's cinema, and one would like to be able to commend Berri's adaptation of Marcel Aymé's novel for bravery, if nothing else. But while this account of vicious, hypocritical intrigue in a small, recently liberated town certainly admits to the existence of both collaborators and communist fanatics, the histrionic performances, excessively eventful narrative, and two-dimensional characterisations make for ludicrous melodrama. The sense of quiet drama that made Jean de Florette so popular is conspicuously absent, and everyone overacts. It may aspire to tragedy, but the overblown script and emphatically drab period dressing reduce it to little more than an indulgent wallow in petty corruption.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Claude Berri, Arlette Langmann|