Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources

Like so many foreign classics, I probably wouldn’t have seen these movies if it weren’t for Nate (we had ‘French movie day’ awhile back). I loved them, of course! The setting is beautiful Provence and the story has lots of juicy stuff: bunnies, betrayal, unrequited love, and REVENGE.

Jean is a hunchback and a city man who inherits his mother’s land and wants to try his hand at farming. He is thwarted by two local farmers who cause Jean and his family a lot of unnecessary pain ‘cos they want his land to grow carnations.

The locals, Cesar (‘Papet’) and Ugolin, are real jerks but they’re oddly charming too. Haha, I love their ‘scheming’ faces!

This is what the Europe of my dreams looks like. I don’t blame Jean for wanting to live here forever.

Part I ends when tragedy strikes and the ‘bad guys’ swoop in to buy Jean’s land for cheap BUT Jean’s young daughter, Manon, sees their true colors.

Part II is a revenge movie. It’s 10 years on and Manon, is hanging around to herd goats and raise hell against the men who betrayed her father.

Ugolin becomes infatuated with Manon which is creepy, for sure, but kind of funny and sweet because he’s a bit simple. He’s like, ‘Let’s forget that business with your father. I’m trying to woo you with dead animals and wealth!’

Manon cuts off water supply to the whole town. You don’t feel toooo bad for the people but, woah, these dogs are too cute to go thirsty. :(

Justice has been served, time for romance!

Suicide letters, letters lost during the war, and an apology letter to Manon. The melodrama swells up in a way that is perfect, sad but satisfying.

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