Les Guardiennes (In French with English subtitles)Infrequent strong violenceAn affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I. The women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of Hortense, the family's matriarch (Nathalie Baye,) must grapple with the workload while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings in an outsider, the hard-scrabble teenage orphan, Francine (Iris Bry), to help her daughter Solange (Laura Smet). New tools allow the women to triumph over the land, newfound independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred especially when the men return from the front on short leaves."From its slow-burning beginning, The Guardians develops into an epic melodrama. Its a wartime story in which, for a change, the men are relegated to supporting roles. It follows in a tradition of French rural family sagas like Jean de Florette or Manon des Sources. The landscapes and the changing seasons play as much of a part in the story as the main characters." The Independent"The Guardians is a historical drama that doesnt lose itself in decorative period detail, a beautifully photographed chronicle of rural existence that refrains from picturesque sentimentality and grinding misery, the usual modes for this kind of film." The New York Times"Meditative in its pacing, painterly in composition, quietly devastating in its low-key drama, the latest film from Xavier Beauvois shares some of the slow-burning potency of his acclaimed study of religious faith, Of Gods And Men." Screen International
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