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The Well-Diggers Daughter
The Well-Digger's Daughter“If you love beautiful, well-observed
  films, you
ll be delighted by The Well-
  Digger
s Daughter; a tragic, funny and
  thoroughly watchable French romance
  starring one of France’s most iconic
  stars, on his directorial debut..
.”

A SURPRISING AND ENCHANTING FILM, The Well-Digger's Daughter (La Fille du Pursatier) is a love story set just before and during the Second World War and has an amazing cast that portrays totally credible and interesting characters with ease.

Based on Marcel Pagnol's classic 1940 film of the same name, The Well-Digger's Daughter stars the brilliant Daniel Auteuil (Hidden; 36) as the well-digger Pascal Amoretti, turning his role into a living person with whom you can totally empathise. Daniel Auteuil is also making his directorial debut and under his care this film is irresistible.

Pascal's daughter Patricia (the charming Astrid Bergès-Frisbey: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) is his pride and joy. On her eighteenth birthday, a fine Spring day in pre-war Provence, she carries her father's lunch to where he is digging a new well with his friend Félipe Rambert (Kad Merad). While crossing a stream she encounters the handsome Jacques Mazel (Nicolas Duvauchelle), the motorbike-riding son of wealthy parents.

Although she is attracted to Jacques, Patricia turns down his offer to meet her later; but inevitably the two are drawn together and it looks as if Jacques is only after his next conquest.

Pascal has six daughters but adores Patricia, who spent some time away from the family in Paris being educated by a childless widow, and describes her as "a treasure from the good Lord". He is afraid that one day she will marry and go away and when he voices his fears, Félipe expresses a desire to marry her.

Unfortunately for him, Patricia is now in love with Jacques; however, one of her sisters is already casting eyes in Félipe's direction. Félipe takes Patricia to the local air show where Jacques is performing as a stunt pilot and introduces them, unaware that they have already met. An incident pushes Patricia and Jacques together and they become closer, but misunderstanding and tragedy await them.

Jacques has agreed to meet Patricia at Saint Julien's Chapel, but without warning he is sent away to test a new plane in South Africa and from there to the front line as war breaks out. He sends Patricia a message with his mother (Sabine Azéma), who burns it, and Patricia believes she has been abandoned.

She discovers she is expecting a child and confesses to her father. Pascal's love for his daughter is overridden by a strong sense of family honour and he confronts André Mazel (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) and his wife — but they refuse to believe the child is Jacques' and accuse the Amorettis of trying to blackmail them. The proud Pascal then sends his daughter to live with her aunt Nathalie (Marie-Anne Chazel), washing his hands of her, to the devastation of her sisters.

The months pass and Patricia gives birth to a son, whom she calls Amoretti (played by Zachary Aueteuil, Daniel Aueteuil's own son). By now Jacques has been declared missing in action and presumed dead and his parents are desperate to see Patricia's child, as he is a link to their only son…

The Well-Digger's Daughter is a delightful, poignant, amusing and highly watchable film with a superb dialogue and easy-to-read English subtitles. Echoing the beauty and charm of Auteuil's early films such as Jean De Florette, it is a fitting directorial debut for one of French cinema's true powerhouses and a must-see for Francophiles everywhere.

The film also features: Emilie Cazenave as Amanda; Celine Bosso as Isabelle; Brune Coustellier as Léonore; Chloé Malarde as Marie; and Ilona Porte as Roberte. Original Music is by Alexandre Desplat; Costumes Designed by Pierre-Yves Gayraud; Cinematography by Jean-Francois Robin (Director Of Photography); and the Producer is Alain Sarde.

Described as a beautiful and timeless tale of love, loss and regret, The Well-Digger's Daughter is available on DVD from 20 February, courtesy of Pathé Productions Ltd. Running Time: 107 Minutes | RRP: £19.99.

"The Well-Digger's Daughter is a delightful, poignant, amusing and highly-watchable film with a superb dialogue... Irresistible" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar


Defining Quote of the Movie — Pascal: "A motorbike doesn't look much but it can carry off a family's happiness."