The Well-Digger’s Daughter – a story of tenderness, sorrow and forgiveness

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2011 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2011)

well-diggers-daughter

No writer has managed to capture in words the beauty of Provence and the manners of its people as well as novelist and film-maker Marcel Pagnol did, which is why his books have often been adapted into movies. Film-maker Claude Berri for instance released to critical acclaim an updated version of Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources in the 1980s while Pagnol’s affectionate reminiscences of his childhood, La Gloire de mon père and Le château de ma mère were filmed successfully by Yves Robert in 1990.

Now, it is the turn of Daniel Auteuil (pictured above) to direct a new version of La Fille du Puisatier (The Well-Digger’s Daughter), originally filmed by Pagnol in 1940 and starringRaimu and Fernandel. The actor from Avignon who rose to international success playing the love-struck Ugolin in Berri’s adaptations has chosen for his directorial debut a beautiful story of love, tenderness, sorrow and forgiveness that still entertains and moves audiences more than 70 years later.

Shot between the Bouches-du-Rhône (St. Remy de Provence, Boulbon, Graveson, Maillane, Le Paradou and les Baux de Provence), the Var (Brignoles) and the Vaucluse (Cavaillon and L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue), the movie centers on 18-year Patricia, the eldest of well-digger Pascal Amoretti’s six daughters.

One day as she brings her lunch to her father, she meets the handsome fighter pilot, Jacques Mazel. The two young people soon become lovers but their happiness is short-lived as World War II breaks out in Europe and Jacques is sent to the front. When Patricia finds out she is pregnant, she is accused of blackmail by Jacques’ rich parents and sent away by her father to live with an aunt in order to hide her pregnancy and avoid any scandal. However, after Jacques goes missing in action and is feared dead, the three grand-parents decide it is time to find a way to reconcile with the “disgraced girl“.

Besides Auteuil as the well-digger, the cast also includes Kad MeradSabine AzémaJean-Pierre DarroussinNicolas Duvauchelle and newcomer Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as Patricia.

Launched on 513 screens by Pathé Films just a week ago, there is no doubt that the film is going to be a success in France and probably abroad. It already marks the beginning of a new adventure for Auteuil as Pathé has recently announced that he will also direct three more Pagnol remakes in 2012: The Marseille trilogy – Marius, Fanny and César.

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