The Sower

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France | 2017 | 98 minutes | Marine Francen

After all the men in a French village are rounded up by Napoleon in 1852, the remaining women make a pact to repopulate the village by any means necessary. The miraculous arrival of one strapping young blacksmith puts this pact to the test.

"A fundamentally serious film leavened by a streak of deadpan, droll humor, its quality will ensure even greater interest in Ailhaud's memoir in the run-up to its impending centenary." Neil Young - The Hollywood Reporter

Based on an apparent true event, The Sower is a unique and fascinating film that focuses on a community of women with a single man amongst their numbers. The French coup d'état of 1851 was an event that dissolved the French National Assembly and reestablished the French Empire in the following year. In the film's case, this meant that entire communities were purged of men and soldiers, leaving thousands of women to fend for themselves. Violette (Paulina Burlet) is one of these last surviving women, and she, along with hundreds of other women, flee into the mountains to find refuge. While learning to work the land and develop new social laws to govern themselves, the women of this close-knit community soon all agree: life must go on. Should ever there be an eligible man that passes their way, he will be "shared" amongst the women. Sure enough, a handsome blacksmith named Jean (Alban Lenoir) wanders into the village, and Violette is soon dispatched to "welcome him." What ensues next are moments of jealously, hate, and deceit that threaten to break apart the bonds of sisterhood and jeopardize Violette's true feelings that she has for Jean. An artful film with gorgeous shots of the Alps, The Sower is both a dazzling psychological thriller with subtle political undertones.

Director Biography
Marine Francen is a French screenwriter and director. She studied contemporary history and then obtained a Master's where she specialized in international relations and media. Her first feature film, The Sower (2017), is an adaptation of an autobiographical text written by Violette Abudu, a teacher in southern France in 1919, who records the lives of women living in a village without men after the December uprising of 1851.

Sponsored by Alliance Francaise de Seattle, The French American School of Puget Sound, French Immersion School of WA

  • Original Language Title: Le Semeur
  • Director: Marine Francen
  • Principal Cast: Pauline Burlet, Geraldine Pailhas, Alban Lenoir, Iliana Zabeth, Francoise Lebrun
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: France, Belgium
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Producer: Sylvie Pialat, Benoit Quainon
  • Screenplay: Jacques Fieschi, Marine Francen, Jacqueline Surchat
  • Cinematographers: Alain Duplantier
  • Editors: Minori Akimoto
  • Music: Frederic Vercheval
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: San Sebastian 2017 (Kutxabank-New Directors Award)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: French
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Film Movement
  • International Sales: Celluloid Dreams