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Back To Normandy


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

OFFICIAL SELECTION: CANNES AND LONDON FILM FESTIVALS

In 1976, French director Rene Allio made Moi, Pierre Riviere, a film based on a 19th-century countryside murder. The story had recently resurfaced thanks to Michel Foucault, who, after discovering the peasant murderer Riviere s beautifully expressed confession, wrote a book about the case. Allio wanted to film the story on location, using farmers from the region of Normandy, where the crime occurred. 24-year-old Nicolas Philibert, the assistant director, was tasked with scouting locations and finding a cast among the locals. Thirty years later, Philibert returns to the region to catch up with the earlier film s players, to revisit a page from his own history, and to tell the stories of this strange murder and the film that recreated it. Back to Normandy is a film about the passage of time. In seeking out the cast, Philibert explores how we make connections between past and present, creating our own meaningful and personal narratives. As Phillibert reveals the motivations for the crime of Pierre Rivière, we also learn of the mysterious disappearance of the melancholy young villager who played him, Claude Hebert. When we finally learn what became of him, the parallels between the actor and his role are startling. A subtle and contemplative film, Back to Normandy also follows Philibert as he delves into the diaries of his mentor Allio, telling the director s story and chronicling the difficult production history of his most ambitious film. The patterns of rural life the passing of the seasons, the raising of livestock, the cultivation of the land have an amazing continuity stretching back from the 1830s to the present day. Like Ermanno Olmi s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978), it is an understated, pastoral epic.

Review

...An extraordinary journey through time, memory and the repercussions of a baffling, bygone crime. --The New York Times

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Documentary
  • Directors: Nicolas Philibert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KINO INTERNATIONAL
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001M3X4IY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,839 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Back To Normandy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By technoguy on December 15, 2010
Format: DVD
If you like film about the past,about the countryside,tradition vs.modernity,the passing of time,the nature of memory and the nature of film,then you'll like this documentary, made by Nicolas Philbert,acclaimed for Etre et Avoir.30 years after being an assistant to director Rene Allio on the filmed reconstruction of Michel Foucault's book:"I Pierre Rivierre",a dramatisation of a young Norman peasant who murdered mother, sister and brother with a billhook.Based on the remarkable memoir he wrote in prison in 1835.Filmed a few miles from the crime scene using local residents.His film'Back to Normandy' is a labour of love and exploration,taking in the anti-nuclear waste
protest now.

This was the 1st case to use psychiatric testimony in the judicial proceedings.Philibert catches up with the amateur cast to relive the experience,meditating on time and change,Philibert having chosen the non-acting cast,interspersed with segments of scenes from the earlier film.He explores the frustrations of filmmaking alongside its impact on an isolated community.We are immersed in nature's rhythms,watch combine-harvesters,the birthing,feeding and slaughter of pigs,cows coming in from the pasture,the collection and compression of apples in cider-making.The bucolic,unhurried pace is brought out in the interviews of those participants,seen at work.

Annick Beson now works with the mentally handicapped, showing a patience and kindness she learned while learning about her character.Another shows the pig-farmer.We see others visiting the graves of the victims of the crime.A couple are shown talking about their schizophrenic daughter,how they coped,the toll it took.The Borel family laugh at its patriarch's thespian adventures.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
Not the WWII Beaches of Normandy story I expected. I found this painfully boring.
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By Miral Dizdar on October 2, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
It was a C movie, unfortunately. I was disappointed.
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