Harvest

Aubignac, a village situated high upon a crag in Provence, suffers the common fate of such enclaves, reduced and abandoned over time. Only three people remain: an old blacksmith, a withered crone, and a middle-aged poacher, Panturle (Gabriel Gabrio). And finally, it is Panturle, alone. Enter Arsule (Orane Demazis), a down-at-the-heels cabaret singer, and Gédémus (Fernandel), an itinerant knife-grinder who has picked her up; now she pulls his cart, like something out of La Strada. Arsule and Panturle team up to revitalize her existence and his land, the welcoming soil of Aubignac. Harvest, based on Jean Giono's novel, is at once Pagnol's crudest and clearest statement about humans and the earth: both will decay if left alone. But there is darkness, too-like the grinder whose comic ruses are edged with threat-against which the simple humanity of Arsule and Panturle becomes rather more complex.

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