Les Sables Mouvants (1995)

Genres - Drama, Historical Film  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Set in France's Carmargue area during the late 1950s, this provocative, powerful drama chronicles the labor dispute between an exploitative farmer and his newest worker, a Spanish emigrant who turns about to much more than he first appears. Manuel comes to Roger's spread in 1958 to plead for employment. Roger is impressed by the well-spoken, seemingly well-educated Manuel, who is also an excellent mechanic and gives him work and a cabin that he will share with the naïve Mouloud. Manuel turns out to be a man with a secret and when Roger learns of it, he attempts to blackmail Manuel, who in turn learns a few of Roger's secrets thereby creating a stalemate that ends tragically after the arrival of Manuel's old-time friend Antonio, who starts a fracas by leading a strike against Roger. The title refers to the deadly sand traps found within the surrounding marshes. They have already claimed the lives of two people before the story began and by its end, the traps will claim more lives. This is the sophomore film of Paul Carpita, a promising director whose career was nipped in the bud in the mid-'50s when his debut feature Rendezvous on the Docks was banned by the French government who deemed its propagandistic message to the working-class, dangerously inflammatory.

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Keywords

killing, blackmail, conflict, farming, labor [work], migrant-worker, striker, worker