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Chronique vigneronne (2001)

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This documentary show the work, the worries and the joys of a family dedicated to viticulture, the Potterat, living in Lavaux. Three generations live together, keeping the old traditions.


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Title: Chronique vigneronne (2001)

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This documentary show the work, the worries and the joys of a family dedicated to viticulture, the Potterat, living in Lavaux. Three generations live together, keeping the old traditions.

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Release Date:

9 June 2001 (Colombia)  »

Also Known As:

Winzerchronik  »

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Boring documentary on an interesting topic.
24 August 2006 | by (Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina) – See all my reviews

There are two kinds of documentaries: the great and the very boring. Unfortunately, this one belongs to the second category...

I wanted to leave, and suffered when saw my watch and it was only halfways ... :(.

Although I come from a family that made a living out of selling grapes (in sunny San Juan, Argentina) I found it very had to "connect" with any of the characters. Granted, the film has no "narrator", no "narrative", like a "nouvelle vague" story but without the charm :).

Leaving aside its pace and platitudes "the heart of wine making is gone", there are many "sociological" observations ready to be "taken":

-The way country people are is very similar the world over. Traditional, obsessive, physical, whiny. Either you like it or you don't...

-Their use of language is also telling, of class differences.

-Italians do the more menial jobs. Although they too speak it in a very basic way, on a personal note found it refreshing after so much French stillness :).

  • Surely labour is MUCH more expensive down there. They take just a few

workers, for a few days. Consequently, any of them would pass as a "patron" down here :)! They are much more educated and "articulate" in their speech.

  • The "ceremony" of presenting the wines to their small community would

be unthinkable down here. With trumpets, clad like priests, on a church... (!) They have centuries of tradition, and are the first ones to preserve them!

-They seem to respect their trade, their "metier". Not like us, that unless we are doctors, lawyers or engineers, feel we're "no good" Good for the Swiss! "Metiers" are part of life!

-They use technology when they have to. Constantly checking up on "la meteo", even throwing rockets at the rain to prevent ice. "It's better to do something than to stay put".

-And a very Swiss "mefiance" of foreigners (Switzerland being a country full of 'em : )).

Their landscape is BEAUTIFUL! Much more humid and green, using basic technology as something natural, and treating the workers with a certain grace. And with such rough terrain (on hills)! It shows they're a first world country! "Jacqueline" does a great job with cinematography, one really feels the slow pace of life there. Her takes on the sun coming out of the cloudy sky and of the lake could look like corny postcards, but are nevertheless very nice. Maybe because she uses them sparingly. "Like sipping a (good) wine" :).

I liked the way the director catches them in daily activities, jokes, "monologues" and having fun after the "recolte". Its unobtrusive camera shows us slices of life, truly. Their constant caring of plants, their reduced dialogues, and the way they have fun and even nostalgia after working so hard. If we aren't particularly seduced by nothing of it, at least we know what we don't like... (and with a meagre "investment"!).

Good for Swiss Cinema foundations!

Conclusion: only for fans of wine, and of "Sociology" maybe.

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