Profils Paysans 2: Le Quotidien
Time Out says
The mood is one of sadness and loss. Depardon captures passing chat – trivial beyond interest at times but fascinating collectively – on everything from the price of cattle to the observation of one unmarried farmer that ‘the celibacy of farmers is a real problem’. But the conversation always returns to core themes: the disinterest of the younger generation; the damage done by the EU; pensions; poverty. A disproportionate number of Depardon’s interviewees, like their way of life, are on the verge of extinction: Marcelle Bresse of L’Hermet is an 87-year-old widow who falls down the stairs and is hospitalised, not to be seen again; Marcel Privat is an 84-year-old shepherd, half-blind from glaucoma: ‘When you’re 84, you’ll take fewer photos than now,’ he tells Depardon, who never appears on camera but whose presence and voice are always apparent.
Depardon’s task looks deceptively simple: he presents individuals talking in their native environment. It’s up to us to draw conclusions about the bigger social and economic picture. But, in truth, the hints are there, and strongly: this is a dying world, on its last legs, gasping for air.