There are a few things one thinks of when it comes to French food – baguettes, cheese and probably, wine. Whether or not you do indulge in wine, Back To Burgundy is a film that’ll leave you thirsty for it and the glorious French countryside director Cedric Klapisch showcases so beautifully throughout.
Back To Burgundy is a stirring family drama set in the vineyards of Burgundy as rebellious son Jean (Pio Marmai) returns home following his winemaker father’s death. Reconnecting with siblings Juliette (Ana Girardot) and Jeremie (Francois Civil), the three of them unite once again to carry out the grape harvest as they decide what to do with the land, each beginning a healing process as they rediscover themselves, maturing with the wine they make.
The first thing you’ll fall in love with is the verdant Burgundy countryside. There’s a real admiration that lines the way Klapisch shoots the vineyard, each shot lovingly rendered as we’re taken through the entire winemaking process from harvest to fermentation. This is of course, not done documentary style, but interwoven with our three troubled protagonists’ stories. Even as they go through life’s dramas, it’s the believable sibling relationship the three actors share that really makes Back to Burgundy shine. Although moving a little slowly at times, the film works to indulge and immerse viewers completely in both the lush environment and the intensely personal drama each sibling goes through.
Perhaps the weakest point of the film is in its flashbacks, literalizing the siblings’ relationship with the shadow of their father, and often feeling extraneous where their storyline as adults is enough. But even the child actors bring across a sense of charm in their performance, and that’s more than enough to make this a blissfully revelatory film that imparts strong life lessons amidst an unforgettable, multi-seasonal French backdrop.
Ultimately, Back to Burgundy moves with a poignant storyline, beautiful cinematography and a real heart behind it all, not to mention, is powerful enough to create a real hankering for wine thereafter.
Back to Burgundy is now showing at Shaw Cinemas. Tickets available here