A warrior leaves home to fight in the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between France and England. Before his departure, he gives his young son, François, a sword to safeguard his mother and ...
See full summary »
A warrior leaves home to fight in the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between France and England. Before his departure, he gives his young son, François, a sword to safeguard his mother and her virtue. One day, after the boy opens a bedroom door to find his mother willingly submitting to a man, he uses the sword to kill the man and becomes traumatized with guilt and enmity toward his mother. Years later, François (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) must go off to war as a chevalier, or knight. While he is away, his daughter, the gentle and loving Béatrice (Julie Delpy), sees to the needs of her little brother and her feckless mother. Although the castle in which they live is a sepulcher of shadows and stone, Béatrice maintains her spirits as she looks forward to the day when her father's voice will once again echo in the corridors. After four years of war in which he was held captive for a time by the English, he returns to the castle, a hardened warrior who has renounced God. Inside his ...
Director Bertrand Tavernier said that Julie Delpy had an exceptional power of concentration and emotion. She had to shoot a quite difficult scene completely naked. He told her there would be no rehearsal. The first take went very well, but she asked for a second. She said to him: "I can do better." See more »
The earth is flooded with brutes., and they'll procreate. The plague is nothing in comparison.
See more »
Composed by Lili Boulanger
Conducted by Igor Markevitch
Courtesy of Everest Records See more »
Arduous but unforgettable
I've never been able to shake this movie. Although I hated it while watching it, its authority convinced me utterly that its portrait of medieval castle life as lonely, dreary, and brutal (contradicting the swashbuckling fantasies in which many of us are apt to indulge) is the way it probably was. Indeed, the recollection of that awful, far-flung, yet confining world overrides and incapacitates every representation of the period I've seen since. It must be one of the most convincing views of a historical era ever put on film. The film itself is brutal; that was one reason I hated watching it; but in retrospect I believe there was no other way to tell the story fairly, and certainly it's the humanity of Beatrice, not the inhumanity of her surroundings, that the film leaves as its final impression. If this isn't a great film, it's a commanding and uncompromising one.
32 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this