The Guardians

The Guardians 15 S

Film

Please note: This was screened in Aug 2018

Director:
Xavier Beauvois
Cast:
Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet, Iris Bry
Duration:
135 mins, Subtitled, 2017, Switzerland|France
Primary language:
French

Xavier Beauvois (Of Gods and Men) returns with an intimate drama exploring the lives of women who are left behind to work a family farm in rural France during the Great War.

In 1915 France a group of women tend the land while their men fight the war: Hortense (Nathalie Baye) runs a farm with her daughter Solange (her real-life daughter Laura Set) and a new farmhand, orphan Francine (newcomer Iris Bry in a revelatory performance). In a visually sumptuous setting, the women learn self-sufficiency, despite the hardships, and even fall in love. Based on Ernest Perochon’s 1924 novel, The Guardians sees the introduction of new technologies revolutionise farming, just as machines of war are starting to chalk up mass casualties on the battlefront.

A quietly affecting tale of love, loss, and resilience, this intimate epic - with a sweeping, romantic score from Michel Legrand - is an ode to the lives of women who refuse to be defeated.