Art free essay: Jean de Florette
Jean de Florette
A mention on the background and setting of the film Jean de Florette will perhaps assist in enumerating the importance of water and the main theme in the film. Setting dimensions that present the importance of the themes include the location in remote France and the historical setting after a major world war creating a fine link with economic setting that moulds the main activity of around which the movie is set. The setting of the film is in a remote part of remote France, Provence, well developed by the timing of the plot to bring out the main theme connection with the flow of the film.
The time of the film is soon after the World War I, a time suitable to demonstrate the congruence of the main theme with the main economic activity taking place in remote parts of France and indeed large parts of Europe. The importance of the political episodes immediately before moulds the importance of the central economic activity and the unavoidable greed to carry out the project that facilitates the flow of the film. Passion is created through the perfect timing in history of the occurrences taking place drama demonstrating how compelled the characters are to behave in the way they do. In choosing the historical setting for the film, the importance of water as well as the main message of greed cannot be better exhibited.
In the beginning, the film introduces the two main characters who mould the development of the story. A man and his nephew are presented and their story builds the remainder of the film. Cesar Soubeyran is depicted as the older man who owns a significant portion of land in the Provence. The only surviving relative that Cesar has around is his nephew, Ugolin on whom he banks his life on, now that he is old and has no heir to his modest reserves of wealth. Ironically, he has unending concupiscence for the success of his nephew acts as motivation since he takes the nephew as the only closest relative as a father would. He is committed to continue the Soubeyrans bloodline by assisting the nephew rise to financial prosperity (Denby, 50). Apparently, Ugolin has returned from the war and wants to settle down. He opts to carry out a major project that would assist him attain some level of self sustenance by cultivating carnations whose value he just learns has increased at the market. His uncle is ready to support his idea at whatever expense, the first one being water since the flowers need a lot of it, overwhelmingly exceeding their own reserves.
Greed develops from the need to carry out the carnations project to its successful end, from tormenting a neighbor to his death to the reactions of the other characters in the film depicting selfish interests. Jean is the neighbor who is relentless in turning down the Soubeyrans wish of having a portion of his property, much of which is not in use out of selfishness and hate for them. In a heated confrontation over the same, Cesar attacks the abusive Jean to his death and his nephew Ugolin assists him to conceal the murder.
The search of water for the project is thought to be in safe hands as they hope that Jean’s property heirs would be cowed and sell it them since it had hidden and blocked water spring. Their attempts are thwarted by Jean’s daughter, Manon, who is aware of the scheme and is prepared to avenge for the death of her father. Interestingly, she is aware of the spring that the Soubeyrans are craving for. They not only find it difficult to purchase the property but the revelations of the identity of the dead man, Jean, leave a shocking impact for the rest of the film and its sequel, Manon of the Spring (Erickson, 1).
It is difficult to separate the strong desire for water in the remote part of France with greed that Cesar has for material wealth. The importance of these two items in the drama is held by their application in the plot by virtue of the fact that they determine the main characters’ course of actions that consequently develop the storyline. Were it not for the prime role of water for the carnation project in the dry Provence climate, the characters would not have pursed it till the death of Jean which spurs the creation of a different version of the film’s development. On the other hand, greed for wealth could not be left out of the quest for water due to the lucrative nature of the project being sought after. Greed creates conflict between the city dweller and the village dweller as well as between father and son as it comes to light that Jean was Cesar’s son (Crouch, Jackson and Thompson 145).
Crouch David, Jackson Rhona, Thompson Felix, The media and the tourist imagination: converging cultures. New York, NY: Routledge, 2005. Print
Denby, David Movies: “The Dry Earth,” in New York Magazine, New York, NY: New York Media, LLC, 1987. Print
Erickson, Hal “Jean de Florette: Plot Synopsis,” 2011. Web. http://www.allmovie.com/work/jean-de-florette-25999 (accessed 16 April 2011)
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