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  • Writer's pictureEugene

Manon des Sources (1986)


A small group of us gathered for Claude Berri’s 1986 revenge drama, Manon des Sources, set in Provence and the sequel to Jean de Florette. Yes, we had shown it before at RCC but it’s always a first time for someone. Our discussion group included people new to the film and they were utterly enthusiastic about it.  “It blew me away,” said one, who declared she would be happy to see it again.

 

All agreed that it was a film that you felt you didn’t just watch, it felt you were living the experience. Our discussion leader, serving up much appreciated puns, felt it tapped into the wellspring of emotions. We talked about the way the themes mirrored Greek tragedy. No-one saw the final twist coming. We also considered the villagers’ role in the blocking of the water source and their compliance by keeping silent when evil was perpetrated.

 

Manon, played by the stunning Emmanuelle Béart, impressed us all and we were a little concerned that at the time she seemed to be coerced into playing a scene that involved nudity. It didn’t help really that the director, Claude Berri, apparently jumped into the stream unclothed to encourage her. Different times.

 

We praised the excellent cast and the authenticity of the villagers. Everyone valued the cinematography and the colours of the seasons. It was, apparently, at the time the most expensive French film made. Manon, after her father’s sad death, brings life back to the valley.  Everyone in the discussion group went home very satisfied with this “absolutely fantastic” film.

 

Anne

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Jeanne Pope
Jeanne Pope
Dec 11, 2023

I would have loved to have been there for the screening, as I anticipated Manon des Sources so much. I will try and find a way to watch it. Thank you for the blog. Myself, having lived for many years on and off in a tiny village in the foothills of the High Corbieres, S.W France, totally understand the underbelly and currents that still make up French village life today. Love is rife, and mischief is all around. They go magically hand-in-hand.


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