Une partie de campagne

The critic Bruno Fornara speaks of Jean Renoir’s masterpiece.

François Truffaut sums up the beauty of the film as follows: “Une Partie de Campagne (1936) is a film of pure sensations, every blade of grass brushes past our face. Based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, Une Partie de Campagne offers us the only equivalent of the art of storytelling on the screen and without making use of a single line of commentary. Renoir presents us with 45 minutes of poetic prose, the truth of which at certain times gives us a thrill verging on goose pimples. This film, the director’s most physical work, will indeed ‘touch’ you physically.”

  1. A petit-bourgeois Parisian family goes for a day out in the country; they stop off at a tavern along the river, and two young men invite the mother and daughter for a boat ride. For Henriette, this becomes an unforgettable moment of pleasure. There is the impressionist painting of the father, Auguste Renoir, there is the calm and compliant, bucolic and stormy nature, there are the gazes of Henriette, touching and harrowing, there is the remorse for a life which is not really what for a second it seemed it might be. The splendid black & white renders the red of the cherries, the greenish-blue of the water, the bright hues of desire and the duller shades of nostalgia.

Une partie de campagne
by Jean Renoir
France, 1936

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