Biquefarre | Chicago Reader

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Nearly four decades after his classic Farrebique (1947), Georges Rouquier returns to the same French farmland, and his careful, almost microscopically observant camera work reveals that everything has changed. Farmers no longer control their own lives, and they've grown increasingly distant from their animals and the soil: handmilking has been replaced by machines, and one farmer becomes gravely ill after spilling pesticide on himself. The central conflict concerns a small plot of land, the owner's desire to sell it for the best price possible, and the prospective buyers' bickering. Excerpts from the earlier film contrast with life in 1983; in Farrebique worshipers linger in church after the service has ended, but now they leave “as if their rear ends are on fire.” 90 min.

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