The Guardians (Les gardiennes)
Cert: 15 Year: 2017 Length: 138 mins Language: French
Cinema Handout (PDF 149KB)
Score: 84.5% Attendance: 158
We start the season with a French film, but this time with one chosen by our members in our 20th Year vote. Directed by Xavier Beauvois, who brought us the magnificent 'Of Gods and Men' in 2010, 'The Guardians' tells the story of the women left to run a farm in France when the men have been taken to fight in 1915. Hortense, finding there is too much work for her and her daughter Solange to cope with, takes on local girl Francine to help. "Beauvois... evinces the same taste for quiet, deliberate storytelling, panning his camera over the faces of Hortense, Solange, Francine and their female neighbours, or lingering on the figure of a soldier disappearing slowly into a morning mist. Seen through Beauvois's painterly eye, the farm and its environs take on a rough-hewed beauty. A scene in which the women scythe their way through a hayfield possesses the lyricism and sensitivity of a chapter from Tolstoy" - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post.
The story shows how the women don't just cope but improve the farm, with Francine becoming the central character as she impresses and fascinates all around her. Iris Bry (Francine), Nathalie Baye and Laura Smet (Hortense and Solange) - real life mother and daughter - all get great reviews:
The performances are extraordi-nary, with Baye a study in quiet suffering and Bry wonderfully enigmatic - seemingly simple, but hinting at a soul capable of expansion and adaptation
Mick La-salle, San Francisco Chronicle
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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