A Lovely Valley
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France | 2015 | 54 minutes | HD
Un film de Gaël Lépingle
Un village dans la Tarn, l'été. Ils travaillent dans des bureaux ou en usine, sont médecins, enseignants ou retraités. Ils se réunissent pour raconter ensemble une histoire, et pour la chanter. Les chansons contaminent la vie quotidienne, s'installent dans le paysage...
A musical, today? Such was the audacious challenge Gaël Lépingle set himself – to paint a picture in period cinema of the French middle classes: so great in number and yet so rarely depicted on the silver screen. After La Prisonnière du Pont-aux-Dions (FID2006) and Julien (FID 2010), a coming-of-age story about a teenager in la Beauce, the fi lm-maker continues his exploration of the French provinces. The setting: a village in the Tarn region in summer. The protagonists: the villagers. The story, however, is more hectic, the plot wending its way in vibrant colours through familiar territory – The Three Musketeers. In this musical, Dumas’ celebrated characters – the musketeers, the queen, Richelieu, etc., swoon in living rooms with TVs on garish sofas, talk in the wistful quiet of the pedestrianized streets with ready-made ruins laid on, debate in the pharmacy, party in the miserably dingy village halls, their words sung in an attempt to contaminate the bleak surroundings. A blatantly political project takes shape through this collective adventure. What is life like in this Oh-so-pretty valley (whose beauty we constantly question, as we cringe throughout the course of the fi lm). We end up unable to decide whether it is the show that has penetrated these lives, or whether a (much, much) smaller than life-size version of our existence, is subjecting this show to a harsh weight-loss programme. (Nicolas Feodoroff, FIDMarseille 2015)