The Sower

(Le semeur)
France/Belgium 2017. Dir: Marine Francen. 98 min. DCP

“Seductive ... Ravishing ... Francen’s debut is painterly through and through, with quietly authoritative performances by an almost exclusively female cast.”

“A provocative, fable-like tale that rewrites its historical moment from a female perspective.”

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! Debuting feature filmmaker Marine Francen’s alluring French historical drama won the prestigious New Directors competition — earning one of cinema’s most lucrative cash prizes, 50,000 Euros — at Spain’s San Sebastián festival. Its women-without-men drama — described as “The Beguiled meets Black Narcissus” (Hollywood Reporter) — is set in the 1850s, in the aftermath of Napoleon III’s seizure of power. The close-knit women of an isolated farming village have toiled for years in the absence of any adult males; their menfolk were all arrested in the political troubles. Wives miss husbands; young singles despair of finding mates. The women vow that, should a man ever appear, they will “share” him. The arrival of a handsome stranger threatens the bonds of their sisterhood. The film’s luscious visuals, framed in the 4:3 Academy aspect ratio, were inspired by painting of the period — especially the Realist pictures of Jean-François Millet (The Sower, The Gleaners).



“Moving, sensual ... A finely etched miniature of quietly cumulative emotional impact.”

Hollywood Reporter | full review