Modern Life (2008)
"La vie moderne" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 465 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 26 critic

A look at several generations of farmers and several farmer families in contemporary France.


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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Paul Argaud ...
Lui-même - 63 ans, un fermier solitaire
Germaine Challaye ...
Elle-même - sa femme, 70 ans
Marcel Challaye ...
Lui-même - 80 ans, un fermier
Jacques Chirac ...
Lui-même (archive footage)
Nathalie Deleuze ...
Elle-même - sa femme
Raymond Depardon ...
Lui-même / Voix
Abel Jeanroy ...
Lui-même - 63 ans, un fermier à la retraite (as Abel Jean Roy)
Daniel Jeanroy ...
Lui-même - qui a repris la ferme sans enthousiasme (as Daniel Jean Roy)
Gilberte Jeanroy ...
Elle-même - sa femme (as Gilberte Jean Roy)
Jean-François Pantel ...
Lui-même - un jeune fermier établi dans un hameau
Marcel Privat ...
Lui-même - 88 ans, un vieux berger
Raymond Privat ...
Camille Quennehen ...
Elle-même - la fille adolescente de Cécile
Alain Rouvière ...
Lui-même - leur neveu qui gère la ferme
Cécile Rouvière ...
Elle-même - la femme qu'il vient d'épouser


This the last part of Depardon's triptych "Profils paysans" about what it is like to be a farmer today in an isolated highland area. "La vie moderne" examines what has become of the persons he has followed for ten years while featuring younger people who try to farm or raise cattle or poultry, come hell or high water. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Release Date:

29 October 2008 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Moderna  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


French visa # 109528. See more »


Follows Profils paysans: l'approche (2001) See more »


Elegy opus 24 for cello and orchestra
Composed by Gabriel Fauré
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User Reviews

Tribute to unknown heroes
29 January 2009 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

Before becoming the famous photographer and documentary maker he has been for decades now, Raymond Depardon had been a child. Yes, I know, this is no scoop, but the fact is that young Raymond was born into a family of farmers in Haute-Loire, an isolated region of France. His art took him to various places around the world until, ten years ago, he felt the urge to become a witness to those farmers'lives, values and family stories. Mario Ruspoli had done the same thing in the same region (the Lozère) with "Les inconnus de la terre" (1961). So why not him? All the more as he was a native son... But while roaming the world, notably falling in love with the desert, he had become estranged from the countryside of his childhood. Would he be able to give voice to these unknown heroes, who had been clinging to a rather unproductive land and had managed to survive and remain free? Well, there was no reason to be afraid, judging from this third part of the "Profils paysans" triptych. For, although the local people have no particular taste for the spoken language (they favor silence - or in a pinch monosyllables!), Depardon has a knack for bringing into the light what is lurking within them. His method could not be simpler: he just gives the interviewees ... time. He is not in a hurry (nor must we be) and, when the film ends, we finally know the protagonists like the back of our hand. Another good point is the director's choice of the 35mm format, the 2.35 aspect ratio and the Dolby sound mix. From the very first minute you get the feeling that this is no cheap movie and that the people you are going to meet are worth your attention. In the same respect, there are beautiful tracking shots following the winding roads of Auvergne and two melancholy pieces by French composer Gabriel Fauré.

In the end Depardon has reconciled with his childhood environment while the townspeople who see "La vie moderne" have with the countryside and its people they all too often disregard. A good deed indeed!

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