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Sandrine, a woman in her thirties gets tired of life in Paris and decides to leave her work in computers and become a farmer. She takes the required practice for two years, and after that she buys an isolated farm from Adrien, an old farmer who decides it's time to retire. However, Adrien wants to stay a few more months before moving away from the farm, and the rough winter finds them together...Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
Sandrine, a parisien girl, fed up with her unfulfilling existence as a computer trainer and the everyday problems of city life decides to leave the Paris to become a peasant farmer.
Sandrine buys a farm high on the Vercors plateau in South-East France from Adrien, an old peasant suspicious of Sandrine's college ideas. It's spring and Sandrine makes a good start, developing other aspects of the farm, a rural Gite welcomes travellers and school parties and a Web sites advertises goat's cheese.
Although the locals are suspicious they are perhaps more accepting of a young, dynamic outsider free of the petty local rivalries that set family against family in these close knit rural communities. This is no Jean de Florette and is illustrated when Adrien defends the changes Sandrine has made to his mates in the village bar.
However the rural idyll is not all that it might seem to city folk. The audience is confronted with graphic scenes of a pig having its throat cut to make Boudin (black pudding) and later of mad cows being killed with a bolt gun. Winter comes and the sense of despair and isolation felt by many small farmers is complete when we see Sandrine in long shot, alone in the barn after one of her goats has stillborn kids.
The film explores the conflicts between conformable but ultimately pointless city life - going nowhere in the Paris traffic and the savage beauty of life on the isolated Vercors plateau. Even the peasants shop at the local hypermarket in Grenoble.
Adrien's initial scepticism gives way to a hope that Sandrine will carry on his farm but he has difficulty with the rapprochement, perhaps caused by events in his own life. The Nazis burned his farm in '44 looking for maquisards and later Government men arrive to kill and burn his cattle infected with mad cow disease. Are the government men worse than the Germans? For Adrien maybe, as these events lead to the death of his wife.
Like the Vercors, Sandrine seems both beautiful but uncompromising but we see constant flashes of the temperament that, like the weather vane in front of her house, cause her to make sudden changes affecting those around her. She is really quite vulnerable needing the occasional love of her city boyfriend and the friendship of Adrien. Maybe it is this qualities that will lead to her eventual success?
A final comment, like many movies these days there is quite a bit of product placement - Volvo cars, Lowe mountain gear, Carrefour but the countryside is wonderfully shot.
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