The Guardians (Les Guardiennes)
An affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I. The women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of Hortense, the family’s matriarch (Nathalie Baye,) must grapple with the workload while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings on an outsider, the hard-scrabble teenage orphan, Francine (Iris Bry), to help her daughter Solange (Laura Smet). New tools allow the women to triumph over the land, newfound independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred especially when the men return from the front on short leaves.
Acclaimed filmmaker Xavier Beauvois (Of Gods and Men) revels in the mysteries and beauties of the French countryside, here unravaged by war, with painterly images bathed in natural light, yet keeps his focus on the intricate drama that plays out against the upheaval of the Great War.
“Unassumingly powerful details make The Guardians one of the year’s most affecting love stories.” Village Voice
“There is a danger of filing Peterloo away as an “important film” – but it is also a complex, rousing and rewarding one for anyone prepared to meet it on its own unapologetically ambitious terms.” The Telegraph
“From its slow-burning beginning, The Guardians develops into an epic melodrama. It’s a wartime story in which, for a change, the men are relegated to supporting roles. It follows in a tradition of French rural family sagas like Jean de Florette or Manon des Sources. The landscapes and the changing seasons play as much of a part in the story as the main characters.” The Independent
Critics 81% Audience 69%
Top Critics positive review 91% Top Critics average rating score 76% Audience liked it 68%
Stockbridge Audience: TBC%
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