Back To Normandy review

There’s more here than meets the eye. Nicholas Philibert’s follow-up to Être Et Avoir ploughs deep furrows from a seemingly simple tale: his return to the Normandy countryside, where he assistant-directed a feature about a 19th Century multiple parricide in ’75. There, he meets the local non-professionals cast in the flick, who chinny-wag cheerily about their brief movie careers. So far, so gently nostalgic. Gradually, though, Philibert’s watchful approach proves fertile.

Themes of movies and memory, documented history, crime, punishment, madness and the connections forged in shared experience assume clear focus. Granted, Philibert’s free-roaming approach is as languid as a weekend ramble. But his warm, tender, patient film finds much to move and chew on in the mulch and mire of rustic matters.

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