Programmed by Pierre Oscar Lévy
In the middle of France, in the Forez mountains, 75-year-old Claudette and her farmers neighbours, are aware that the consumer society ignores them whilst gradually taking away what’s left of their savoir-faire. But they do not intend to be pushed around.
“Swallowing death”, the strange expression used by one of the film’s protagonists, is perhaps the best way of summing up this poignant and sensitive documentary. In his unique film, Christophe Agou – the photographer who died of cancer at the age of 45 – portrays the gradual disappearance of peasant life, which the hi-tech world has been trying to get rid of since the First World War. Shooting began in 2002 and lasted 8 years, but the bonds forged with the people filmed are those of a lifetime. Agou successfully manages to enter into the private lives of these characters who see themselves “simply as human beings”. Mad cow disease – which strikes the herd belonging to one of the couples in the film – could be seen as symbolising the fate of these peasant farmers who’ve lost any control of their lives… “When you see that you’ve got no-one to support you.”
Pierre Oscar Lévy