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A woman and her seven children live on a farm in Southern France. In spite of the hard work and the mediocre accommodation, their life would be a happy one, but for one person: the owner of the farm an egotistic and authoritarian individual, who is also the lover of the woman and the father of all her children. The farmer handles them as his property, uses them as cheap labour to work in the fields, and denies them the right to leave the farm. It is only the love of the woman for her children that allows them to endure their situation; but even for her, disenchantment has set in. Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
Set in the rural Southern France of the 70's, this partly autobiographical movie chronicles a year in the life of a mother and her seven children, all working in the fruit and vegetable farm owned by the father, a handsome domestic tyrant who has another "official" family in a nearby town. The beauty of this film lays in its apparent simplicity, that mixes an almost documentary approach (the depiction of country life is nothing like you usually see in movies ; it was shot in continuity from summer to winter) with something close to the magic of a fairy tale. It's life, it's perhaps as realistic is it can be, and yet it's transmuted in something else. The happy, carefree children are endangered elves, and the only protection for these `little ones' (who don't seem to have individual names) is the warm, thick mantle of love offered by their dignified queen of a mother, who, in turn, can hardly resist the animal attraction of her `ogre'. Fortunately, there is no drama, no pathos, no hysteria, no violence shown. They're not necessary because we know what's going on. Instead, other images, like those of the children playing in the hay or running under a plastic cover, or the final shot have already turned this movie into an instant classic.
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