Will It Snow For Christmas?

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Will It Snow For Christmas?
"It is a tough watch but, like everything of value. remains with you longer and deeper."

Don't be fooled by the title. This is not a Santa bantered treacle toffee of a movie aimed at the little ones. It's a neo-realistic insight into life on a farm in Provence in the years before social media and hope.

Poverty, rural style, is about as romantic as an offal omelette. All the six older children work. Mum too, as well as providing meals, feeding the baby and servicing the man they call Dad who demands sexual favours whenever he feels like it. He has a fierce temper. Violence follows him like the roar of the rain.

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Where is the love?

Without a hint of sentimentality the mother (Dominique Reymond) is the source and the giver and the children respond by playing happily in the mud and throwing their arms around her. She is their rock and their salvation and yet her life is as hard and unremitting as the north wind in autumn.

Will It Snow For Christmas? was written and directed in 1996 by Sandrine Veysset who had never made a film before. She was 29 and had been employed building sets for low budget movies before becoming a driver on Leos Carax's Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf. He encouraged her to have the courage of her conviction and finish the script and find the backing to make it happen.

The result was greeted with enthusiasm by French critics and won awards. Not only was Veysset equated with Emile Zola and Jean Renoir but her demands on truth in such a commercial field as popular cinema was considered uncompromising and exceptional.

It is a tough watch but, like everything of value. remains with you longer and deeper.

Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2017
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Will It Snow For Christmas? packshot
On a Proven├žal farm, a protective and devoted mother raises her seven illegitimate children... under the uncaring eye of the farmer, who is the father of her kids.
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