Profils Paysans: la Vie Moderne (Modern Life) (2008)
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After offering an up-close look at life in a farming community in the French hillsides in Profils paysans: L'approche and Le Quotidien, filmmaker Raymond Depardon returns to the village of Le Villaret in this documentary. Marcel Privat and his brother Raymond Privat have spent nearly their whole lives as dairy farmers in Le Villaret, but it's clear they can only continue for so long; Marcel is eighty-eight years old while his brother is only a few years younger, and unfavorable weather and poor
May 18, 2008 Wide
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Depardon's palpable sense of respect for his subjects lends the film a geniality that would otherwise have been hard to fabricate.
This could be the most sublime film you'll ever see about French cattle farming.
Though visually seductive, especially for anyone longing to escape the urban jungle, Modern Life is also to be admired for refusing to slide into postcard lyricism.
Visually evocative and deeply moving on the theme of the deterioration of an ancient way of rural life.
A low-key but genuinely insightful journey through a vanishing way of life.
The pastoral beauty of the scenery and the lyrical journey of Depardon's camera are underscored by a sense of acute melancholy and hopelessness in this affecting film.
There is a richness of fellow-feeling and lack of condescension in Raymond Depardon's study of rural farmers in the remote French countryside.
These are private people whose every careworn expression tells a story. It's during their silences that we see the real, human cost of progress.
The beautifully shot Modern Life is a richly compassionate tribute to its hardy subjects and their slowly vanishing way of life.
Progress has always been cruel, modernity murderous. But that brute reality doesn't mean we cannot pause, with Depardon, to mourn and commemorate.
Raymond Depardon's documentary catches a poignant sense of lives, and livelihoods, inexorably dwindling.
A remarkable achievement for a modest documentary that captures the daily experiences of farmers eking out a living in the low mountain valleys of Lozère, Ardèche and Haute-Loire.
The third documentary in Raymond Depardon's Peasant Profiles series is impassive but impressive.
By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking, this is a well made and strikingly intimate portrait of rural farming life.
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