A woman comes back to her home town with her son to live with her brothers ;here she meets again a childhood friend,now the café-owner(Patrick Bouchitey).She's attracted by the schoolteacher who is also an ornithologist whose dream is to create a reserve for the birds of the ponds near the village.Alas he comes into conflict with the hunters and even his new girlfriend's brother,who is a taxidermist(an illegal activity).
On the plus side,this is a relaxing work,without the usual sex,violence and all the trendy paraphernalia.The landscapes are beautiful and the camera shows a great love for the feathered race.The director has partly avoided Manicheism(i.e. good ecologist/wicked hunters).
But she did not avoid her two main character's melodramatic background:the schoolteacher spent seven years in the army ,in Djibuti (and Tchéky Karyo ,who plays him,if he's a credible ecologist ,is a thoroughly implausible firebrand),then he had the now de rigueur bout of alcoholism.As for the woman,her childhood's almost worthy of Victor Hugo's "les miserables":her father treated her badly,she left ,became pregnant,was abandoned by her lover, deprived of the custody of her child,and the whole shebang.
Nevertheless,nature lovers should not miss this movie.Yannick Bellon was the first director in France ,to tackle seriously the rape topic ("l'amour violé",1977).Some kind of female André Cayatte ,her work generally remains without vigor and self-conscious though.
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