The Guardians Saturday 14th September 2019 in the Village Hall Doors open 7pm, film starts 7.30pm Duration 135 mins Rated: R (English Subtitles)
An affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I. The ‘Gardiennes’ of the title are the women who roll up their sleeves to take charge of the land when war breaks out. Under the deft hand of Hortense, (Nathalie Baye in the role of a lifetime) is utterly commanding as the matriarch who will do anything to ensure that family and farm survive while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings on an outsider, the hardscrabble teenage orphan, Francine (Iris Bry), to help her daughter Solange (Laura Smet). New tools allow the women to triumph over the land, new found independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred especially when the men return from the front on short leaves; and the arrival of American troops brings its own issues. This richly compassionate, fiercely acted and beautifully shot period drama is about the second conflict, the battle of wills on the home front, as its characters struggle to maintain a family farm in the Deux-Sèvres region of western France. Acclaimed filmmaker Xavier Beauvois (Of Gods and Men) revels in the mysteries and beauties of the French countryside, here unravaged by war, with painterly images bathed in natural light, yet keeps his focus on the intricate drama that plays out against the upheaval of the Great War. Caroline Champetier’s magnificent landscape photography brings an elemental touch to the realism that gives this film the intensity of a French-style Thomas Hardy. Like a series of Monet paintings come to life, the historical drama ‘The Guardians’ luxuriates in lush, widescreen images of the French countryside.