Jean de Florette [1986]

Genre: Drama
A truly impressive French film destined to become a modern masterpiece, Jean de Florette is an evocative adaptation of the highly regarded French novel. Two 1920s farmers engage in a bitter rivalry as one tries to tend to a plot of land and the other deviously undermines his efforts in order to conceal a valuable spring. The peasant farmer (GĂ©rard Depardieu) who comes to the countryside to tend the land he has inherited is a naive and trusting soul seeking only to provide for his wife and daughter, while his neighbor (Yves Montand) is intent on doing whatever he can to discourage and demoralize the farmer so that he can take the land for himself. This simple tale unfolds in a wrenching fashion to a tragic conclusion, bringing forth questions about human nature and the prevalence and price of greed. Along with its follow-up, Manon of the Spring, this film will leave an indelible impression on anyone who sees it. --Robert Lane

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