Back to Burgundy – a move review by Roz Tarszisz

July 6, 2018 by Roz Tarszisz
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My French is not that flash but I think the French title –  Ce qui nous lie ­– could have been given a more literary translation.

Jean (Pio Marmai) returns to his family home/vineyard in Burgundy. He left ten years earlier in a youthful huff and travelled the world.  Things have changed. His father is dying in hospital, sister Juliette (Ana Girardot) is now the family winemaker and younger brother Jeremie (Francois Civil) is married with a baby.

Jeremie is angry that Jean has stayed away so long, but first things first. The grapes have to be harvested.

The process of deciding exactly when to pick the grapes is fascinating as the siblings taste the fruit and even chew the pips to work out which day would be most propitious to start picking.

The story has been shot over the course of a year, in sync with the rhythm of the seasons and that allows the story to flow.

Jean has made a life as a winemaker in Australia and intends returning.  After their father dies, there are huge death duties to be paid and the issue of whether to keep the vineyard going need to be addressed. Bien sur, they would get plenty of money if the land was sold off for housing.

Much of the back story is told by Jean in flashback to their childhood.  As the siblings start to work together their affection for each other is renewed and that is really well depicted.

The scenes among the vines give a wonderful sense of the hard work and uncertainty of owning a vineyard.   It’s beautifully shot – hills draped in vines make good scenery any time of year –  but I was not completely convinced by the ending. The soundtrack is really good.

3.5/5 Classified M  113 mins Opens July 5  2017

Starring Pio Marmai, Ana Girardot, Francois Civil

Directed by Cedric Klapisch

Screenplay by Cedric Klapisch, Santiago Amigorena, Jean-Marc Roulot

Cinematography Alexis Kavyrchine

 

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