Palace Nova Cinemas from 26 November.
Preview screenings 20 – 22 November
Review by Geoff Jenke
The debut feature film for photojournalist Edouard Bergeon is a deeply personal one. It tells the story of Pierre (portrayed in a superb, career-best performance by Guillaume Canet), who returns from Wyoming to the Mavenne district of France in the late 70’s to marry his sweetheart and take over his imperious father’s farm. The couple have two children and, for many years, life is good. But the business is soon placed under enormous pressure and what was once satisfying begins to take an insidious toll on the family.
It is personal for Edouard because the film is based on his own father and his upbringing on the family farm, and in reality, the film is based on a lot of French farmers’ real life plights.
Pierre returns from America, happy to be reunited with his girlfriend, Claire, and to take over the family farm. However, his father makes Pierre buy the farm off him, thinking this will make a man of his son. The couple make a go of it, employing a trusty worker and having two wonderful children. But the loan to his father is still there and Pierre is talked into going bigger by a chicken corporation, who loan him even more money.
Claire manages the books and is able to keep the farm going with the help of their son and the farm hand, but Pierre becomes trapped having to be loyal to the corporation and having to pay back loans which are mounting. Depression sets in and the family are torn apart, and the last third of the film plunges into a darkness known by too many farmers. It all happens way too quickly.
The acting is excellent amongst all the players.
In the Name of the Land is not a happy movie, in fact at times quite depressing, but one that must be seen.
In the Name of the Land – Season opens November 26 at Palace Nova cinemas.