Retour en normandie

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Back in 1975, Nicolas Philibert was a young assistant to film maker René Allio. They made the film "Moi, Pierre Rivière, ayant égorgé ma mère, ma soeur et mon frère" (I, Pierre Rivière, having cut the throat of my mother, my sister and my brother). All the main parts were played by peasants of the region. Thirty years later, Nicolas Philibert went back to Normandy to find those peasants and see what they had become. He told their story in his new movie: "Return to Normandy".All the peasants remember exactly the film of 1975 as a wonderful experience. Lucidly, all of them knew that it would be a one-time experience and no one dreamed about becoming a famous actor."Return to Normandy" jumps back and forth in time, between present time, the shooting of the movie in 1975 and the triple murder committed in 1835 by a young peasant of the region, Pierre Rivière. Throughout the movie, the peasant playing the main role, which of Pierre Rivière, remains a mystery until the end: both the spectator and Nicolas Philibert himself are surprised to find out what he became after taking part in the movie...This movie is not only about the shooting of a small-budget film (with peasants-actors) in 1975. It is also a story about life and death, growing old, remembering the past. It is also about madness, with the example of Pierre Rivière, who killed three members of his family in 1835, and the example of a couple of peasants whose daughter suddenly became crazy a few years after the shooting of the movie in 1975. Nicolas Philibert also wanted to show life in the countryside as it is, without embellishing it, but also without cliché or prejudice: by letting peasants play their own part, Philibert wanted to give them an opportunity to speak about themselves, about their daily life, their dreams and their struggles.


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