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15 days to watch
4.4
99 Ratings

Cousin Jules

Le cousin Jules

Directed by Dominique Benicheti
France, 1972
Documentary
  • French
  • English

Synopsis

An ode to rural France and the simple joys of life, this glorious masterpiece captures the daily routine and rituals of Jules, a blacksmith, living with his wife, Felice, on a small farm in the French countryside.

Our take

Dominique Benicheti’s undeservedly under-known documentary is a revelation. A truly original encounter with two people and a vanishing way of life, this portrait of a rural farmer and his wife was decades ahead of its time in immersing an audience in the working life of those too often unseen.

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Awards & Festivals

Locarno International Film Festival

1973 | Winner: Special Prize of the Jury

1973 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Viennale

2013

Seen now in extreme retrospect, Cousin Jules appears a revelatory missing link between the essayistic observational documentaries of Frederick Wiseman and Raymond Depardon and the vibrant tradition of sensory ethnography pioneered by Robert Gardner and extended in new ways by Lucien Castaing-Taylor.
May 25, 2014
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Benicheti, in collaboration with his cinematographer Pierre William Glenn . . . produced images at once fragile and monumental—the visually expressive correlative of his taciturn, hardworking subjects and the Burgundy countryside where they lived.
December 03, 2013
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“Cousin Jules” not only evokes André Bazin in its use of duration and pure recording but another mid-20th-century French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, in documenting the lived experience of domestic space and the “poetics of space.”
November 26, 2013
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