Les Inconnus De La Terre

Mario Ruspoli

T. it.: Gli sconosciuti della terra. F.: Michel Brault, Quinto Albicocco, Roger Morillere. Commento di Michel Zeraffa interpretato da Gilles Quéant. Mo.: Jean Ravel, Lucienne Barthélémy. Su.: Danièle Tessier. Int.: Michel Zeraffa. Prod.: Argos Films HD Cam. D.: 35’. 


T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

During a trip to Lozère in 1961, General De Gaulle declared “Help each other so that Heaven will help you” when faced with the misery of this underdeveloped region. Shortly thereafter, Mario Ruspoli, who was attached to the region because of an uncle, a leftist member of the Parlia­ment, gave voice to the limestone farmers. Ruspoli presents the region as the desert of France, “craters, limestone, caves, the Lozère: the most fascinating desolate land, magnificent on a postcard, like any frozen hell. On this fruitless land, peopled but not inhabited, a handful of men have put down roots”. These unknown figures are the poor farmers “too miserable to be romantic, and since they are land owners they lack the political prestige of the pro­letariat” (Roland Barthes).
“Mario Ruspoli captured the voice of the abandoned countryside. With their words, their faces, and their silent gestures, he gave voice to France’s underdogs” (Sim­one de Beauvoir). The farmers present their doubts, difficulties, and expecta­tions regarding government decisions. Contastin, the tutor Gazo, the Beaufils family, three brothers, and a man who tills the earth narrate the remains of their existence captured by the prototype of the revolutionary Coutant camera, the mother of cinéma vérité. With the savoir-faire of Michel Brault, “farmers who have never seen a film speak directly through film, as if it happened every day” (Georges Sa­doul). 

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