Synopsis by Mark Deming
After offering an up-close look at life in a farming community in the French hillsides in Profils paysans: L'approche and Le Quotidien, filmmaker Raymond Depardon returns to the village of Le Villaret in this documentary. Marcel Privat and his brother Raymond Privat have spent nearly their whole lives as dairy farmers in Le Villaret, but it's clear they can only continue for so long; Marcel is eighty-eight years old while his brother is only a few years younger, and unfavorable weather and poor soil conditions have devastated their grazing lands, reducing their flocks to a handful of cows and goats. Their nephew Alain Rouviere has moved from Calais to Le Villaret to help look after Marcel and Raymond as well as their farm, but it's clear Alain's wife Cecile doesn't care for the old men and isn't afraid to tell them what she thinks. Down the road, Marcel Challaye and his wife Germaine are also growing old and fighting a losing battle with the elements as their spread of cattle gradually shrinks to nothingness, and Daniel Roy, who has inherited his family's farm, sees no future in working the increasingly flinty soil of Le Villaret. La Vie Moderne (aka Modern Life) was an official entry at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
cattle, countryside, dairy, farmer