The 32-year-old clergyman August returns home from years of missionary work after hearing about the death of his sister Christina, who after going from greatness to the gutter as the famous porn star “The Princess” – has finally died of drug abuse. She has left her five year-old daughter Mia, with a prostitute. August visits the brothel to bring Mia home with him and becomes her guardian. Burdened by sorrow, guilt and unspeakable rage August goes on a rampage to avenge his sister’s death and brings her small daughter with him. The mission escalates into a brutal and violent rout as August attempts desperately to protect the only thing he holds dear, “Mia”, forcing him to make a fateful decision.
CONTENTS INCLUDE: At the Hypnotist’s (1898) Wonderful Absinthe (1899) At the Photographer’s (1900) The Cabbage-Patch Fairy (1900) Turn-of-the-Century Surgery (1900) Midwife to the Upper Class (1902) Alice Guy Films a “Phonoscène” (1905) The Results of Feminism (1906) The Drunken Mattress (1906) The Hierarchy of Love (1906) Madame Has Her Cravings (1906) A Sticky Woman (1906) The Rolling Bed (1907) The Glue (1907) and more!
DVD 1: EMILE COHL
Includes Fantasmagoria (1908), The Puppet’s Nightmare (1908), The Living Fan (1909), Comic Mutations (1909), The Twelve Labors of Hercules (1910), Petit Faust (1910), Bébé’s Masterpiece (1910), and more!
DVD 2: JEAN DURAND
Includes Calino Wants to Be a Cowboy (1911), Onésime Goes to Hell (1912), Onésime, Clockmaker (1912), Onésime Loves Animals (1913), Zigoto Drives a Locomotive (1912), The Railway of Death (1912), Burning Heart: An Indian Tale (1912), Under the Claw (1912), and more!
DVD 3: JACQUES FEYDER AND THE EARLY MASTERS OF FRENCH CINEMA
Includes Heads…and Women Who Use Them (1916, Jacques Feyder), The Barges (1911, George-André Lacroix), La Marseillaise (1912, Etienne Arnaud), Child’s Play (1913, Henri Fescourt), Feet and Hands (1915, Gaston Ravel).
Back to Normandy is a film about the passage of time. In seeking out the cast, Philibert explores how we make connections between past and present, creating our own meaningful and personal narratives. As Phillibert reveals the motivations for the crime of Pierre Rivière, we also learn of the mysterious disappearance of the melancholy young villager who played him, Claude Hébert. When we finally learn what became of him, the parallels between the actor and his role are startling.
A subtle and contemplative film, Back to Normandy also follows Philibert as he delves into the diaries of his mentor Allio, telling the director’s story and chronicling the difficult production history of his most ambitious film. The patterns of rural life — the passing of the seasons, the raising of livestock, the cultivation of the land — have an amazing continuity stretching back from the 1830s to the present day. Like Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978), it is an understated, pastoral epic.