Jean de Florette (1986) - full transcript

In a rural French village an old man and his only remaining relative cast their covetous eyes on an adjoining vacant property. They need its spring water for growing their flowers, so are dismayed to hear the man who has inherited it is moving in. They block up the spring and watch as their new neighbour tries to keep his crops watered from wells far afield through the hot summer. Though they see his desperate efforts are breaking his health and his wife and daughter's hearts they think only of getting the water.


Papet, it's me... Ugolin!

It's Ugolin!

It's me!

It's you, Galinette!
You're back!

I'll come down!

No, just throw me the key!

I'll be right down.

What a surprise!

- You're out of the army!
- At last!

- Come in and eat.
- Not now.

I was boozing all night!

Come back for supper.

Ok, I'll see you later!

No, that's enough.

She's asking if you want more.


When I die, you'll live here.

The Soubeyran farm will be yours.

Meanwhile, you must fix up
your place on the hill.

Later, you can rent it to a farmer

or leave it to your kids.

- For that, I'd need a wife.
- Why not?

Lots of girls around here

would love to marry a Soubeyran.

There's Chabert's daughter.
I bet if you tried...

I've no mule: I use yours.

I've no hens or goats:
they're too much trouble.

I don't wear socks: they itch.

So what do I want a wife for?

What about love?

Whenever I'm in Aubagne,

I step into the Bird Cage.

For 15 francs a month,
I can choose any girl I like.

That's enough for me.

You don't want to wind up
a bachelor like me.

I want to see your kids before I die.

Why didn't you ever get married?

I have to make some money
before I take on a wife.

Do you have any plans?


I have an idea for you.

I've figured it all out.

The plans and what it'll cost.

What is it?

Restoring the Soubeyran orchard.

The whole Solitaire plateau.
Like it was in my father's day:

200 fig trees, 200 plum trees,

200 almond trees.

1,000 trees in all.

In rows, ten yards apart!

As beautiful as a church.

All the farmers passing by
will cross themselves.

We already have
so much excess fruit,

we often feed it to the pigs.

I have another idea.

You're my only kin, boy.

I'll help you if I can.

Tell me, what's your idea?

It's a secret.

Is that you, Papet?

You can't go on like this!

You live like a caveman.

I haven't seen you in a fortnight.
This house is a pigsty.

Look at this place!
It stinks to high heaven!

What do you do all day?

Tell me!

Just calm down.
I want to show you something.

Is this your big secret?

Fooling around with flowers?

What do you say?

Very nice!

They're Imperials.

Good stems.

What's your offer?

Well, if this was February,

I might have given you...

50 cents.

But the season's almost over.

So let's say...

20 cents.

All right?

All right!

You were right
about the flowers, boy.

But why the big secret?

I wanted to see
if the soil was right first.

I knew you'd understand
on seeing them.

It's not the flowers I understood,

but what the florist paid!

- What'll a real set-up cost?
- 15,000.

- You've got it.
- You're too generous!

Not really. It's not just for you,

but for all Soubeyrans,
including those to come.

If her nose was her ass,
she'd drop dead!

So would we!

There's one problem.

What's that?

- The water.
- What water?

Carnations need a lot of water.

My hands are raw
from hauling up the water bucket.

We can install a cistern.

If we water 500 plants,
it'll be empty in 4 days.

That's a real problem.

We could dig a big reservoir

that would store all the rainwater.

What if it doesn't rain?

We need to find a field
near a natural water source.

How about buying
Bouffigue's field and spring

up at Romarins?

Is that spring still alive?
My father told me it'd dried up.

It's blocked up with rubble.

Years ago,
a nice stream flowed from it.

Old man Camoins grew
loads of vegetables there.

I bet we could unblock it
with a pickaxe.

Think he'd sell his farm?

Not the house,

but maybe the field and spring.

He never uses them.
Maybe if we offer him money...

How are you, Marius?

None of your damn business!

Why be nasty?
Are you mad at me?

Neither mad nor glad.
I've got no use for you!

You may feel that way but I don't,
since I'm here to see you.

You're here because
you want something from me!

Right, but I also want
to give you something.

I don't need anything.

Not even to talk:
it gets on my nerves!

Just hear me out, Marius.

If you'll sell me your property,
not the house,

just the field and the hill,

I'll pay you well.

What a nerve!
D'you think I'd sell my property?

Look at these thousand-franc bills!

Go to hell!
Goddamn you Soubeyran rats!

Don't yell like that or you'll choke.

And don't insult the Soubeyrans,
or I'll get real mad!

He's just kidding!

Shut up, you halfwit punk!

I'll show you what I think
of the Soubeyrans!

Lousy bastards! Pigs! Lying crooks!

Come down here!

- Let's hope he's not dead!
- Why not?

Falling out of a tree can kill a man.

So much for my carnations.

Too bad. It was a perfect spot.

But if he croaks,
his heirs will sell the farm.

We could buy it for peanuts.

- Let's finish him off!
- No! Someone might have seen us.

You see, boy?

Never lose faith in miracles!

Why not shave him in his bed?

I never shave anyone lying down.
Not even a corpse.

Where are those two going?

It's over here.


The spring was by the fig tree.
Don't look back!

Old man Camoins had dug a trench

that went down
to the end of the field there.

That way,
the water just ran downhill.


Look at my foot.

See how soggy the ground is?

The water's blocked,
but it'd be easy to release it.

That fool let it all go to waste!

Wait a minute!

When we were hunting once,
before he went nuts, he said:

"My gun is my only friend.
I want it buried with me."

A dead man's wishes are sacred!

Do you know if it's loaded?

I didn't look.
You can't tell with a Hammerless.

I bet it's loaded with buckshot.

He kept it loaded
on account of the wild boars.

It could be dangerous.

It's got a hair trigger.
A jolt could set it off!

- Maybe he set the safety catch?
- Not him!

- So you're the heir.
- No. We were only distant cousins.

But you'll get something.

No, it'll all go
to his sister, Florette.

Is she still alive?

Why not?
She's younger than you!

But I heard her husband died.

Who's this Florette?

Florette de Berengère,
old Camoins' daughter.

The pretty one.

Your uncle knew her well.
Isn't that so, César?

Where is she?

In Crespin. She married Lionel,
the blacksmith there.

Did you go to her wedding?

No. I was in a military hospital
in Africa.

I came back too late.

I'll write to tell her
her brother's dead.

If she's alive,
she'll claim the estate.

Yes, she's the heiress.

Some inheritance!

I don't agree.
The house is still in good shape.

- It has plenty of olive trees.
- They're rotting away!

They just need a tickle with a pickaxe.

Sure, that way they'll die laughing!

It never rains on that land.

You hear the storm coming close,

but, at the ridge,
the clouds split in two

and it rains on the other side.

The valley side
just gets a few drops.

Maybe so,

but it so happens there's
a spring on Bouffigue's land.

- There was a tiny spring.
- No, it was a big one.

My pa showed it to me
when I was a little kid.

It was a really big stream.

You were either a baby,
or it had just rained...

When I saw it 30 years ago,
it was as thin as my finger!

Do you think a spring
like that can dry up?

Springs are like pretty girls.

Neglect them
and they leave you high and dry.

I saw a fig tree there last year.

So there's water there!

- There was water!
- But there are new shoots!

Just tend to your bar!
What do you know about springs?

I say this one's dry!

I say those trees are dead,
and that soil is rotten!

And I say I wouldn't take that land
if you gave it to me!

I haven't written for years.

Who are you writing to?

To Grafignette.

Who's that?

You don't know her.
She left before you were born.

When the boys tried to kiss her,
she'd scratch their faces.

She sharpened her nails to a point.

That's how she wound up an old maid.

Later on, she left to work
for the priest in Crespin.

She was Florette's best friend.

She can tell me all about her.

I've got an idea:

I'll go to see Florette in Crespin.

No, you won't!
If she knows you want her land,

she'll ask three times the price.

Besides... if she knows it's for us,
she'll say no.


That's the way she is.

What can we do then?


Florette won't come back.

As a young woman, she loved money.

She's probably worse now.

So she'll sell,
but no local farmer will buy.

They have too much land already.

A stranger might buy it.

What the hell for?

To grow vegetables or flowers,
like me!

- Without water?
- There's a spring.

- What if there was no spring?
- But there is one!

You poor fool.

Listen to my plan.

It's already half buried.
An accident could block it up.

What accident?

Let's say you pass by
with a load of cement.

You trip, you fall, and bang!

Your cement plugs up the opening!

Here it is!

Good God, it's ice cold!

- It's cold.
- Hurry up, you idiot!

Here's the hole!
Hand me the plug!

No, the little one!

A root is stuck here.

That's enough.
Remember I have to unblock it later!

- I heard a noise.
- Where?

In the house.

It's not Bouffigue's ghost,
just rats!

"Dear César,

"Will wonders never cease?

"After some 30 years,
you write to me about Florette

"and the postman delivers your letter
on the very day she died.

"I'd just finished laying her out.

"That's why I didn't answer sooner.

"I don't think she left much money.
Her husband died six years ago,

"and she lived on what he left.

"In any case, her son will inherit.

"His name is Jean Cadoret
and he must be about 35.

"He's a tax collector,
but I don't know where.

"The notary will surely locate him.

"Tax collectors
are never hard to find.

"He's married,

"but unfortunately, by God's will,

"he's a hunchback."

What if a villager
tells him about the spring?

Don't worry.

The villagers here don't meddle
in other people's business.

The way you wrecked that house,

any farmer seeing it
will just sit down and cry.

You're right!

He'll sell it.

A pen causes less blisters
than a pickaxe.

A farmer may grow a hump, but
a hunchback rarely becomes a farmer.

Who'd have thought that Florette
would give birth to a hunchback?

What do you think?

Look at the huge brambles.

The olive trees, the wild rosemary!

My God, it's beautiful!

What did I tell you?

Ancient Provence.
Zola's paradise!

Even lovelier than paradise!

Try sliding it down.

Hello, folks!

- Hello!
- Could you use some help?

Sure! We're trying to get it down
without dismantling it.

- You're very kind.
- Let's see what we can do.

Thank you.
Are you from Aubagne?

From Bastides, but I live nearby.

- You passed my house on the way up.
- So we're neighbours.

- Almost. I'm Ugolin Soubeyran.
- Delighted.

This one needs at least four men!

How'd you lift it?

We loaded the crate,
then put the tools in.

And now we'll do the reverse.

I've got enough tools here
to set up a real workshop.

Your wife sings beautifully,
even better than in church!

She's charmed many a listener.
She sang operas.

- In public?
- Yes, in concert halls.

My voice now is nothing like
what it was back then!

It must have been fantastic!

Glorious! Her best role was Manon.

That's why we've called
our daughter Manon.

It's a fine spot.

A tough climb,
but it's worth it. The air's pure.

Heaven on earth!

So you rented this old farm?

- I didn't rent it.
- You bought it?

I didn't buy it either,
but it's all mine.

Are you Jean de Florette?

I'm Jean, and my mother was Florette.

But my name is Jean Cadoret.

If you'd been born here,
it would be Jean de Florette.

What a lovely title for a song,
or even an opera!

You knew my mother?

No, but her brother Bouffigue
and I were good friends.

I drink to Mother Nature,
to these fragrant hills.

I drink to the crickets,
to the breeze.

To the ancient rocks.
I drink to the clear blue sky.

Good health!

Damn! They always do that!

So you're all here
on a little holiday...

A holiday that'll last until I die.

I want to live in peace
amongst these pine trees, happily,

as long as the Lord grants me life.

That's fine,
but what'll you do for water?

We have a cistern here!

It's small.
Unless it rains, it'll empty out.

I also own a spring.

What spring? Where?

It's marked on the land register.

Come and see.
Perhaps you can help me locate it.

See? This little circle is a well,
or a spring.

Where's Romarins?

The spring is about

a mile away,
at the end of the Plantier valley.

It belongs to us, too.

I know the place!
It's over that hill.

It's a big climb to the spring.

The water's good,
but it's just a trickle.

Is it far from here?

About an hour's walk.

We'd only need to go once a week.

Our Sunday walk!

A Piedmontese woodcutter
and his wife live in the grotto.

The wife, Baptistine,

is a sort of witch.

But they're nice, and keep it clean.

But you can throw them out.

God forbid! If they're happy there,
let them stay.

We'll go there soon:
this water problem is serious.

No need to hurry.
For now, my well is full

and you're welcome
to a few buckets a day.

I accept your generous offer.

You may be wondering
why I decided to settle here.

Yes, why did you?

It's because I'm convinced

I can only be truly happy
if I return to nature.

I'm here to cultivate the authentic!

The Othentic?

I want to grow my own vegetables,

savour oil from my olive trees,
swallow eggs from my hens

and wine from my own vines!

That'll take time!
Those olive trees are growing wild.

It'll take three years to revive them.

The same for the vines.

But vegetables
can't grow without water.

We'll see!

Thanks to the legacy
my thrifty mother left me,

we have enough to live on
for at least three years!

Three years!
In the meantime, I have big plans!

Thanks again.
I must get to work at once.

I noticed the roof leaks
in several spots.

Good luck then!

We've got energy to spare.

What's he like?

Like a city hunchback.

- A city type?
- And how!

Watch your step.
He may be a city chump,

but hunchbacks
are often smarter than us.

What'll he grow?

"Othentics". Lots of Othentics!

What's an Othentic?

Probably a plant that grows in books.

He said we have to be modern.

- I bet he spoke of routine.
- Right.

What's that?

It's a city word.

It means that what
our fathers taught us

has to go
because it's not modern.

We have to be modern now.

That's just bullshit!

He spoke of three years...

For me, that's a disaster!

Stop fearing the worst.


Anglade or Casimir,
as his distant cousins,

might tell him about the spring.

That could be a problem.

No! His mother warned him
to avoid folks from Bastides.

He asked me not to tell anybody
he's from Crespin.

Then we'll tell everybody!

We'll say a man from Crespin
bought the farm,

but we won't mention
that he's Florette's son.

Meanwhile, act friendly.
Help him out. Lend him my mule.

Be sure to play up to his wife.

Take her almonds,
a few thrushes, a bunch of figs.

That way, when he gives up,
he'll sell you the farm.

I offered him water from my well.
A bucketful a day.

But not for that reason.

What then?

What I did was no crime.
It was for my flowers.

But if they drank the cistern water,
they'd die.

It would always be on my conscience.

You're just like your poor mother.

But you did right.

I'll try to discourage him anyway.
I'll say the soil's rotten

and that it never rains at Romarins!

Are you crazy?

Tell him that Othentics are great,
that it rains constantly

and to start
on his big projects right away.

Remember, it's much easier

to slide down the slope
than to climb up.

Just help him fall flat on his face.

Morning, neighbour!

As you see, I'm taking you up
on your offer.

Fine. Just help yourself.

I've been admiring the landscape.

I never really noticed it.


It's vast. You can see
what weather's coming.

That's true!

Come here, I'll show you.

Do this, or else the bucket
just floats on top.

If you let it sink, it fills up, see.

How's your roof?

I'm a few tiles short.
I must order more.

But they'll be new,
and will mar the overall effect.

- Nobody looks at a roof!
- Still, it's a pity!

I've got planting to do.
Just help yourself!

Many thanks!

More furniture?

This load's so heavy,
I'll never make it!

1,000 lbs of pipes and wire fencing!

- What kind of pipes?
- Cement pipes!

- Big ones?
- And how!

How many?

About 100 feet.

- What for?
- Probably for water!

What water?

Maybe he'll pipe the rainwater
down to his cistern.

Are you sure?

- Who knows? There's a pump, too.
- What'll he pump?

I don't know,
and I don't give a damn!

Why does he need all that fencing?

Ready, Papa!

See these tiles?

What are they for?

For you!

I've had them for years.

I figured you could use them!

Many thanks!
Yet another favour I won't forget!

I've got an idea for your water.

The cistern's good for watering,

but it's small and will dry up fast.

Rainwater fills the track.

By using large cement pipes,
you could set up

a pipeline to the cistern,
so it'd always be full.

Wonderful idea!

I just happen to have
some pipes on hand.

How come?
And what's all that wire for?

That's a secret! A big secret.

- A new fence?
- Yes, but a special kind.

It'll go two feet underground.

To keep the rabbits out?

You're close. But I have
other plans for the rabbits.

I don't get it.

First I'll plant a few leeks,
tomatoes, potatoes and herbs.

- An hour's work a day.
- A kitchen garden?


Next, I'll plant a high-yield crop,

which is essential
for large-scale rabbit breeding.

Large-scale? You mean big rabbits?

We mean hundreds of rabbits a month,
if not thousands!

No, Aimée,
let's stay within reasonable limits.

Bring me my manual.

You know and raise rabbits, don't you?

I have six and my uncle has 30.

Even so, I doubt you're aware

of their amazing reproductive potential.

Look at this.

I can read,
but I'm no good at numbers.

It says that with a single pair
of rabbits,

in three years, a modern breeder

can have a monthly yield of 500 rabbits.

But this expert warns that more
than 5,000 is a real health hazard.

With 1,000 males and 5,000 females,

a breeder would end up with
30,000 rabbits in the first month,

200,000 by the sixth month
and 2 million by the tenth!

That means a whole country
can be wiped out by famine!

- Really?
- Tell him about Australia!

That continent
14 times bigger than France

almost perished
because of one pair of rabbits!

Their brood stripped
entire fields bare!

To save the country, they built
an electric fence 1,250 miles long

and slaughtered millions of them!

- You plan to raise that kind here?
- Certainly not!

I believe
that breed was made noxious

by the Australian climate.

Thank God!
So you plan on 500 a month?


I'm all for moderation.

I'll be satisfied with a fourth of that.

I'm counting on 150 a month
in two years' time.

No more than that.

That's more reasonable.

But just cleaning out the cages
is a big job.

- That's no problem!
- How come?

I want to see my rabbits
run and hop about!

I'll use a modern approach:
an outdoor run.

What about foxes?

You forget the fence:
6 feet high and barbed wire!

A fence won't stop a fox. Never!

But barbed wire might.

That's why I've decided
to use artificial warrens.

With cement pipe openings.

The opening will let a rabbit
crawl in, but not a fox.

That's good thinking!

What'll your rabbits eat?

- Here's my answer.
- You'll feed them matches?

Watermelon seeds?

- Are they Othentics?
- Authentic? Of course!

These are authentic cucurbita seeds
from the Orient.

This plant grows
with exceptional speed.

In a tropical climate,

these creeping vines
can grow up to 30 inches a day.

Of course,
we're not in the tropics here.

Thank God!

And there's no real rainy season.

The weather statistics
for the last 50 years

from the Marseilles observatory note...

6 days of rain in April,
5 in May,

4 days in June,

2 days in July, 3 days in August
and 6 days in September.

- That's just an average.
- It sounds about right.

But rainfall is often sporadic

and may not bring about
maximum growth.

A reasonable growth estimate
is about six inches a month.

You'd have a problem
if they grew any faster.

Your squash plot would run
down to the village.

Good point! I figure each plant

should yield about 130 lbs of squash.

Sounds good,
but you've only got four seeds.

That's true for now.

But in six months' time, my problem
will be to stop their proliferation.

But if your rabbits and squash
are out of control, what then?

We'll be rich!

For if we fail we're doomed
to return to the hell of city life!

- Any news?
- Yes. Good and bad.

He wants to set up
an outdoor rabbit farm.


He has a manual?

Yes. It says you can start
with two rabbits,

and have 1,000 in six months.

But you can't keep breeding them.
They almost ate up Australia!

This isn't Australia.

And it's easy to make rabbits
multiply on paper.

He wants to limit himself
to 150 rabbits a month.

Only 150!

A toast to the losers!

Is that guy renting the farm?

No, he told me he'd bought it.

- Is he a farmer?
- No, he's a hunchback.

Where does he buy his bread?

In Ruissatel.

Is he scared my bread is poison?

No, he's avoiding the village.
He's from Crespin.

From Crespin?

- That's nothing to brag about!
- Not all Crespin folks are bad!

What did he do there?

- He was a tax collector.
- Maybe he'll raise our taxes!

Is he staying long?

No idea. In any case,
he's fixing up the house.

- All by himself?
- Yes, with gloves on.

Some farmer!

A hunchback from Crespin,
that sounds fishy to me!

Just ignore him!

Maybe he's a spy!

What'll he spy on? Your chickpeas?

The Good Lord sent us a real loser!

In six months, he'll be gone.

He claims
he'll succeed in three years.

That's just bullshit!

Maybe, but he has money!

Inheritance money
burns a hole in your pocket.

In six months he'll be broke
and we'll buy him out.

Meanwhile, let's see what he does
with his Chinese squash

and his giant rabbits!

Mmm! Smells like roast pigeon!

He mustn't find the spring.

We'd better steer him away.

- Hello, neighbour!
- Hello, Monsieur Jean! Ma'am!

Nice day!

What's that contraption for?

With that pickaxe of yours,

you'll knock yourself out
for three months.

With my plough,
we can finish the job in three days.


The Lord has answered my prayer!

It's from his field.

The best soil in the region.

It's worth its weight in gold!

Rich soil like that.
It just kills me!

He's a good man.

- I don't like him.
- That's because he's ugly.

Manon's scared of him.

Manon, I'm surprised at you!

You don't like him?

- He's ugly! He looks like a toad!
- It's your thoughts that are ugly.

A coarse exterior often conceals
a pure soul.


Manon. Come here.

I have a special task for you.

You'll water these plants
carefully every evening.

The man's a real joke!

He's planted his tomatoes
on the north side.

They'll never ripen.

He poked his chickpeas
in way too deep.

They won't yield a bowlful.

He's planted his onions
at the foot of an olive tree!

And he just barely
covered his potatoes.

He doesn't sow his seeds,
he throws them!

They'll grow in tufts,
like hair on a mangy dog!

If the fool thinks
he can feed a family like that...

Yet, when I look at him,

I laugh,
but I also feel sorry for him.

I feel like showing him
how to do it right.

Let him do it his way.

If it's no good,
so much the better for us!

Hello! Going out for the day?

We're off to the Plantier spring.

Our cistern is empty and I can't
keep relying on your generosity.

My well is pretty near dry, too.

I think it'll rain tonight.

- Why? Do you have rheumatism?
- No, thank heavens!

I counted on six days' rain in May,
but we only got three.

And we've had no rain in June,
so we're owed five days of rain!

I'm giving the heavens 48 hours
to settle their debt!

Which way is the spring?

Don't use the shortcut.
There's an easier way.

Go to the end of the valley,
but stay below the village,

turn right and follow the road
up to the spring.

Very good! See you later!

It's beautiful!

We're the new owners!

But we don't want you to move out.

We're here for some water!
Our cistern is empty.

If we had that spring here,
our problem would be solved.

Have faith in statistics
and providence!

I'm off to Aubagne!
Can I bring you anything?

No, thanks!

Buying more seeds?

Better than that!
I'm going to get my breeders!

Come and see them tonight.

Fine! I'd love to see
your first rabbits!

I'll bring your wife some snails.

See you tonight!

I chose young females
who've never had a litter.

That's essential if you want
to create a new breed.

Here's the male.

We'd better close the door!
He's lively, he may get away!

Not from me, he won't!

Holy Mother! What's that?

It's an extremely rare crossbreed.

I've never seen one like him!

The fur of a dog, the paws of a hare
and the ears of a donkey.

- Was he expensive?
- Very expensive!

He's a strange one!

He's a breeder.
He's not young, but he's virile.

He looks fierce!

I bet he could eat a steak!

He's been taken for a ride!

What breed did he say it was?

The Romarins breed!

Make us some baby rabbits, boy.

Start the Romarins breed.

There's not much left
of the inheritance money.

But I'm sure we'll pull through!

Our bills are paid
and the worst is over.

I'd like you to manage
the 1,123 francs we have left.

It has to last us a year.

Hopefully, in three months,
I'll start selling my rabbits.

If need be,
we could sell my necklace.

I was told it's worth 10,000 francs.

Sell your necklace?

I'd rather go without shoes!

Come quickly!

What is it?


- There's Ugolin's neighbour.
- Talk about stuck-up!

You should have aimed at his hump!

Some joke!

Go on! You're too tiny!

You're too tiny!

He's too tiny! Here's a big one!

What a beauty!

A real Romarins!

Shall we take it? How much?

It won't last.

It'll do for my vines,
but not for his vegetables.

What can this mean?

Only one thing... Disaster!


"If it rains on Ascension Day,

"all your crops are washed away."

Stop worrying!

Remember: a wet spring
always brings a torrid summer.

By the end of July,
his garden will be parched!

His corn leaves will crackle
like patent leather shoes.

"Showers in June
bring nothing but ruin."

I'm off to sell my vegetables!

This is to thank you
for all your advice.

Good job I didn't give up
on my vegetable plot.

Are your potatoes out?

- Not for three weeks.
- Really? Look at mine.

How do you do it?


I always forget she's deaf.

That's enough! I'm hungry.

The worst thing is that
now he's giving me advice!

You have a fine garden!

But I'm worried.
Summer hasn't really begun yet.

It's already July 20th
and it's sure to rain in August.

- It'd be a shame to lose all this.
- My cistern is overflowing.

It holds 3,000 gallons,
and I only need 750 per watering.

I can hold out another week.

But what if it doesn't rain
in a week?

"One seed yields an ear
with 400 to 450 kernels, or even two.

"As a rule, the yield is 400 times
the seed plant."

Hear that?

Even using a more reasonable
estimate - say 300 times -

I've planted enough
for three tons of corn.

Thank you, sweetheart.

We'll also have 20 tons of squash.
Even half that amount is plenty.

The manual says we only need
eight tons of feed a year.

We only have 720 francs left.

- And the income from the rabbits?
- It's included.

Now more than ever
we need God's help.

The water's stopped!

The water's stopped!

There's no more water!

I expected this.

But I thought we had
a few days' water left.

If it doesn't rain tonight,
we'll figure something out.

Lucky we've got the spring!

Four trips a day
will kill your donkey!

We can stock 850 gallons in a week.
But we need rain within ten days.

Ten days? At this time of the year?
I wouldn't count on it!

If the heavens let me down,
could you rent me your mule?

- Sure!
- Thank you!

Come on! Let's keep going!

if this heatwave keeps up much longer,

his corn will be wiped out

along with the rest.

What's wrong?

What's wrong? You scared me.

Just a dream.

It's the hunchback.

It's the hunchback!
Tell him I'm not here!

Is Mr Ugolin here?

He isn't home?

Ask him if he'll rent me his mule.

I need it tomorrow. It's important!

His mule. Tomorrow!
Thank you!

My chickpeas are rotting!

My apricots are dry and small as peas.

My grapes won't make
two casks of wine. What a year!

For the hunchback,
this means real trouble.

He needs 250 gallons a day.

All he's got to carry it
is a donkey, a woman and a hump!

Another week will wipe him out.

He wants to rent my mule.
It'll be hard to say no.

Idiot! If you lend him the mule,
you'll save him!

It can haul 100 gallons a day!

You told me to act friendly,

so I drank his white wine
and called him Monsieur Jean

and now we're really friends.

You fool!
Do you want flowers or friends?

What a ninny! You sound
just like your poor mother!

If you start strangling a cat,
finish it off!

Believe me,
if he makes a success this year,

he'll start again next year

and he'll be miserable all his life!

With the money I'll pay for his farm,
he can move back to the city.

We're doing him a favour
by not lending him the mule.

You're back at last!

Yes, for the grape harvest!

- How are things with you?
- Not so good. I'm low on water.

It's been a mighty bad year!

Even the grapes
have shrivelled up like raisins!

Can you let me have your mule?

You mean Papet's mule?

- I can't. The harvest starts today.
- What about later?

After Papet's harvest,
the mule will make the rounds.

It takes at least 10 days.

But, you know,

with this heatwave,
we may have a thunderstorm tonight.

May God hear you!

Here's that nut!

He'll kill himself.

He can go back to tax collecting,
but his donkey can't!

It's her I'm sorry for.

Are mules expensive?

I think I can find one in Aubagne
for about 500 francs.

I can resell it in September
for a profit.

But for that...

I have to ask you a big favour.

Can you let me have your necklace?
Just for a little while?

You're going to sell
Mummy's necklace?

No, I'll just pawn it.

They'll lend me at least
2,000 francs for it.

The emeralds alone are worth that.

The mountain air
will be good for the mule

and in 2 months I'll resell it.

Then we'll get the necklace back.

Then it's all right, isn't it, Mama?

Of course.

It's time for bed, now.
We have a big day ahead.

Do you mind giving it up?

I already have!


I've already pawned it.

- When?
- Last month.

I didn't have any money left.

You bought so many things:
books, tools, bran for the rabbits.

And we drink a lot of wine.

- What did you get for it?
- 100 francs.

- Only 100 francs?
- The emeralds were paste.

Please God, make it rain!

Make it rain!

In 20 minutes,
the cistern will be full!

What a beautiful storm!

Manon! I felt the first drop!

Me too, Papa.

I want to feel this blessed water
run down my face.

Thank you, Lord!

But the rain's over there.

It's raining over there!

I'm a hunchback!
Have you forgotten that?

Do you think that's easy?

Isn't there anybody up there?

There's nobody up there!

I'm a hunchback!

Do you think that's easy?

There's nobody up there.

What is it?

Aimée, come and see!


What is it?

It's a dust storm.
I'll run to the Plantier for water!

There's no time to lose!
Meet me at the spring!

It's a matter of life and death!

Papa will fall ill.


Now I know why God gave me this hump.

She says she'll take out the sun.

She says
if we don't take the sun out,

he'll die the day after tomorrow.

All that for a few measly squash!

It kills me to see them
slaving away in this heat.

If you ask me,
it's his own damn fault!

His squash'll never make it.

- But he has a spring on his land!
- They say it's blocked up.

Maybe it didn't block up by itself.

They say the Soubeyrans might know.

- They say...
- Forget what people say!

The Soubeyrans do as they please!

It doesn't pay to stick your nose
in other people's business!

The less talk, the better!

Time to make our move!

His fields look like a disaster area!

He's at the end of his rope.

Offer him 6,000 or 7,000 francs.
But haggle a bit.

- Let me kiss you, Papet!
- Cut that out! Run over there!

Take him these bottles of new wine.
It'll be good for him. Hurry!

Your wine is delicious,
but I have to face the facts.

My venture is a failure.

It's a fiasco!

I could blame it on fate
or disastrous weather conditions.

But I'm afraid it's due
to my own stupidity,

to my lack of common sense.

I thought I was clever,
but in fact, I was blind.

Blind to my biggest problem: water!

That's right.
You can't make it without water.

That's history, now.
I have a new plan.

Once I've fully regained
my strength,

I'll dig a well.

- Where?
- I'll use a divining rod.

Are you a water diviner?

Not exactly.

But I have a manual
that should help me.

Once I've learned the technique,
I'm sure to find water here.

You know how to make a well?

After all, a well is only
a hole in the ground.

Mine will be 36 feet deep,
and even if it doesn't supply water,

my problem's solved.

- What use is a well without water?
- I can use it as a cistern!

A well that size contains
11,000 gallons of water!

Spring rains will fill it up.

In the summer months,
between this well and our cistern,

we can store 14,500 gallons.

That'll give us 36 days
worth of watering!

We've had longer dry spells.

Where have you seen
a drought lasting 36 days?

The Sahara?
Or maybe in the Gobi Desert!

But not here!

It's mathematically impossible!

Let's drink to that!

From all you say,

the only good news is that now
he's drinking red wine!

- And the divining rod?
- That's a real problem!

Think he'll learn to use it?

Hell, no! For that,
you need a special touch.

- But he may hire a real diviner.
- Do you know any?

I knew one in Ombrées.
If he came up here,

he'd find the spring in a flash!

Is he still there?

Yes, but fortunately in the graveyard!

A good diviner is expensive.

Did you talk money?

No, he was too drunk.

I don't think he has much left.

You can never be sure
when it comes to money.

I think it moved!

How's it going?

It's getting harder to dig.

- Tough?
- It certainly is!

I'm down to the white rock
I told you about!

- The Quaternary?
- Precisely!

If there's water under this rock,
I'll reach it in two weeks.

But if it's under
the Quaternary layer,

it'll take six months or more!

Now I know
what a ditch-digger's thirst is!

This hits the spot!

Monsieur Jean,
I have to be frank with you.

You may think
this is none of my business,

but I feel sorry for you.

All this work you've done
these last two years...

It's madness. It'll kill you!

Go on, I'm listening.

Even if you finish your well,
it won't help you.

You'd need a river
to water so much squash.

This is no life for you,
and that's the truth!

This is all very interesting.

A man like you belongs in the city.

With your education,
you could be a teacher or a postman,

with a nice clean outfit.
That's what you were meant for!

If you stay here,
you'll kill yourself.

I know you're out of money.
It's nothing to be ashamed of.

But you don't eat enough

for this kind of work,
and you drink too much wine!

One day you'll drop dead.

How will your wife
and little girl manage then?

They're already sickly.

I've noticed.

- What's my farm worth?
- To rent or sell?

- To sell!
- Just a minute!

It's hard to say.
I've never thought about it.

It's no summer villa

and, without water,
it's no use to a farmer.

The second cistern
will add to its value.



Is that all?

- 8,000.
- You'd sell your mother's house?

It's a perfectly reasonable price!
That way I can ask the notary

for a 4,000-franc mortgage!

- So you won't sell?
- Of course not!

I'll never sell the house
where I hope to live forever

a rich man!

We can get by quite well
on 4,000 francs!

I'll buy a mule,
a load of miner's tools,

and some dynamite
to blast this damn rock!

In a year, I'll pay off the mortgage
and we'll be set!

Know what a mortgage is?

It's when the notary lends money
to honest people.

What honest people?

They'll make him sign papers,

and if he doesn't pay on time,
they'll repossess his farm.

Okay, ten minutes.
Now leave us alone.

There's good and bad in what you say.

The bad news is that,
if he's got 4,000 francs,

his operation just may succeed.

On the other hand,
since he's a born loser,

a lot of things can go wrong.

And, as you know,
dynamite and drinking don't mix.

In any case, a mortgage
is the best solution for us.

I'll finance his mortgage myself.

If he succeeds, he'll pay me interest

and repay the loan.

But if he fails,

we get the farm.

You're smart, Papet. Really smart!

I'm smart... Because I've got money!

It's all set!

You do the honours!

Fetch Mama!
I want her to see the water shoot up!

Go on!

What happened?

Did you have an accident,
Monsieur Jean?

It's my fault.

I ran to see the water shoot up

but some rocks
that'd been blown high in the sky

landed on my head.

If you can talk, it can't be too bad.

This way, doctor.

Will he be all right?
It was only a small rock.

When he tried to speak just now,
he ground his teeth.

He didn't suffer
before he passed away.

A rock must have fractured
a cervical vertebra.

Even if I'd come sooner,
it was hopeless.

I just stopped the clock
in Monsieur Jean's house.

Is that why you're crying?

It's not me that's crying.

It's my eyes!

What will they do now?

They must have relatives.
And they can sell the farm.

And you might be kind enough
to buy it.

- How much do you think it's worth?
- Not much.

In any case,
it wasn't worth a man's life!

8,000 francs is more than generous.

If there was a water source,
it'd be worth twice that.

But there's only a cistern.
The house is old and remote.

Once you pay off your mortgage
and we deduct interest and fees,

you'll be left with 3,880 francs.

Sign here, please.

And initial these.

I hope you realize that the buyer
has been very generous.

You can live here
as long as you like.

This gentleman bought it
so I could rent it and farm the land.

It's your home.
I'll never come in without knocking!

For me, it's Monsieur Jean's house.

I've clowned around enough.
They're leaving anyway.

Let's go!

Hold on, I think I've got it!

There must be lots
of water down there.

Carnations, Galinette!

15,000 francs a year!

It's liquid gold!

What was that?

Just a buzzard making a kill.

In the name of the Father,
the Son and the Holy Ghost,

I hereby name you
the King of Carnations!

End of part one