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The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand's torrid love affair with the decadent author Alfred de Musset and her affinity for wearing men's clothing, was the content ... See full summary »
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In 1849, in the Archipelago of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, the drunken Ariel Neel Auguste and his partner Louis Ollivier kill for a futile motive (to see if he is fat or just big) the fishing boat captain Coupard. Nell, who stabbed the victim, is sentenced to die with his head severed in the guillotine while Louis is sentenced to hard labor. During the transportation to the prison under the custody of Captain Jean, there is an accident and Louis dies. While spending his days in the cell waiting for the guillotine and the executioner, Neel is invited by the captain's wife Mrs. Pauline to help her in her garden and becomes her protégé. Later he has a process of rehabilitation helping the locals in minor works and becomes very popular in the island. When he saves the building Café du Nord and her owner from sinking in the sea, his popularity increases and nobody but the governor and politicians of the council wants his death. Neel marries Eleontine Jeanne-Marie, but sooner he is informed ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The film was to be completely filmed on the island of Saint-Pierre, but when the snow failed to arrive, the production had to move further north to Newfoundland for certain sequences. See more »
When Neel is told he's strong enough to "ramer jusqu'au chez les Anglais", the English subtitles say "row over to Canada" rather than "row over to the English". This introduces an error: both the geography and the dialogue in other scenes make it clear that Newfoundland is meant, but Newfoundland wasn't part of Canada until 1949. See more »
You have to watch the odd foreign film such as this to understand just how far Hollywood has strayed from cinematic honesty. This is a simple, beautifully done, superbly acted piece of theatre set in one of the world's least known places, the fog shrouded French island of St. Pierre, off Newfoundland. It's a simple yet gripping film with an intriguing plot, almost a morality play. There is visceral human drama, much mystery and wonderful soul stirring pathos. And how nice to see a movie without the mandatory Hollywood happy ending. A well spent evening!
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