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Sunday, May 17, 2009

My favourite French movie

"Les enfants du marais"

"Les enfants du marais" is the kind of French film which appeals to international film audiences. It depicts a way of life which accords with a non-French person’s idealised view of life in France – a way of life which certainly exists no longer and probably never really existed.

Whilst the film is unashamedly simplistic and shows nothing of the real hardship of living in a marshland community in the 1930s, it is totally charming and makes for a pleasant cinematic experience. The acting is generally of a high calibre, which is perhaps what most makes this a satisfying film. Every character in the film is a three-dimensional human being, marred by some eccentricity or personality disorder, and the way they interact and discover enough commonality to form friendships is both fascinating and genuine. An attractive and poignant film.

A version subtitled in English is available under the name "Children of the Marshlands" but I have been unable to find it.