2017 France 2hrs 12 mins - Cert:15
Director: Xavier Beauvois
An evocation of life during World War 1 set in a rural community where French women struggle to maintain a family farm while husbands, sons and brothers are off fighting , sometimes not coming back.
This is a fierce, compassionate and beautifully shot period drama where the war casts a terrible shadow over a farming community.
The war rages elsewhere but this part of France remains unspoiled and fertile thanks to the hard work of the women who are left behind.
The director takes his time introducing us to this place and people. The pace is unhurried, giving us time to appreciate the beauty of the painterly light as it bathes trees, wheat fields and hillsides in a colourful glow. The beauty and pathos of the film are vivid in every frame.
The horrors of war are glimpsed at the beginning but Beauvois is more interested in how those left behind continue living.