Gloire de mon pere La (1990 aka My Fathers Glory)
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MY FATHER'S GLORY
I was born in the town of Aubagne at the foot of the goat-capped Garlaban...
...in the days of the last goatherds.
The Garlaban is a towering mass of blue rock.
It rises up high in the Provence sky.
It's not quite a mountain, but it's more than a hill.
It's the Garlaban.
"The Ploughman and his Children by Jean de la Fontaine.
"Work as hard as you possibly can.
"That is really what matters the most."
My father was a schoolteacher.
"That is really what matters the most."
His name was Joseph.
He had a deep, pleasant voice and his blue-black hair...
...formed waves when it rained.
"A treasure is hidden within."
One Sunday, he met a seamstress called Augustine.
He found her so pretty he married her.
I don't know how they met. We didn't talk of such things at home.
They were my parents since always and forever.
Father was 25 years older than me and that never changed.
Augustine's age was the same as mine...
...because my mother was me, and I used to think, throughout my childhood...
...that we were born on the same day.
Sibella, take over!
To think you did that to me.
I'm a father...
...and it's a boy.
When your father is a teacher, school is your whole world.
I have few memories of Aubagne...
...I only lived there three years because my father was promoted.
From Aubagne, we moved to St. Loup in the suburbs of Marseilles.
Marseilles is beautiful.
When my mother went to the market, she left me in my father's class.
He was teaching six and seven-year-olds how to read.
I just sat quietly at the back...
...and admired his paternal omnipotence.
One fine day...
My little treasure!
...my mother left me as usual...
...and left without a word...
...while my father...
That's not true!
Mommy did not punish me. You did not write that correctly.
- Who said you were punished? - It's written there!
Can you read?
Read it, then.
"...her little boy who was not behaving."
"...is proud of...
Does that mean you like me?
- Does your head hurt? - No.
When did he last read?
A soap wrapper.
Nothing since then?
Your sister won't let him.
It's for his own good. His brain will burst!
Mother, am I sick?
Of course not. Have some more pie.
A cerebral explosion. Ridiculous!
I don't want Marcel to be in a classroom anymore, nor even open a book...
...until he's 6 years old.
Let him be a child a little longer.
I now had a baby brother.
His name was Paul.
Augustine told me he had been found in a cabbage patch.
My father spoke of a little seed.
His garden-related explanations temporarily quenched my curiosity.
That year, my father made a great leap.
From St. Loup, crossing the suburbs in one fell swoop...
...he was offered a permanent position at the Chartreux School...
...the biggest state school in Marseilles.
- I'll be late. - You won't.
It isn't 8:00 yet.
- Don't I look too... - Not at all.
- You look wonderful. - Wonderfully nervous, you mean.
It'll be all right, I'm sure.
But these city children might be...
What? They're only children.
Where are you going?
Why can't I go, too?
You're not old enough. And it gives you a headache.
Get dressed. And washed.
You fibber! Let's see your hands.
I left them in my room.
If you bring them back to me, I want them to be sparkling clean.
Or Aunt Rose won't take you out.
And don't forget your feet!
"To serve eight, take four pounds of fish...
"...shark, scorpion fish, gurnard, monkfish...
"...John Dory, conger eels, marlin.
"Mix the onions and leeks...
"...finely chopped in a casserole dish...
"...which is flameproof...
"...with two tablespoons of olive oil.
"Heat gently, stirring continuously."
October 1, 1900.
Sit down, everyone.
My dear children...
...this new century is an age of wonder...
...in which the miracles of science...
...will become commonplace...
...and bring joy to the poorest...
...and most humble.
Houses will have gas...
...electric light, and even the telephone.
This telephone will enable us to talk...
...without moving or shouting...
...to people who live in Aubagne or even Aix-en-Provence!
Stone the crows!
Our twentieth century...
...will be a very great century.
Progress is on the move.
Soon, machines will do the hardest tasks.
This will probably bring the working day down to ten hours.
That's a good idea!
The working man will have a day off each week!
Guided and saved by education...
...everyone will have his place in a world...
...where all men will be respected.
I will not speak of this again.
Open your books.
My brother Paul was now 3 years old.
He was quiet, never cried, and played on his own in a corner.
Augustine was pale and frail, but happy with Joseph...
...her two sons and her brand-new sewing machine.
This wonderful, modern invention...
...enabled me to help her work.
Aunt Rose, Augustine's sister...
...cheated her solitude with us. A "young old maid"...
...as Joseph teasingly called her.
- What is it? - A hair curler.
He swallows everything.
A strip of bacon rind last time!
What is it?
The railway timetable.
What did I do to deserve such children?
What you did or rather didn't do.
I know what Joseph thinks...
...but a wedding not celebrated in a church...
"...is not a real wedding."
And speaking of weddings...
...it's about time you thought of your own...
...my dear Rose.
"Live, believe me
"Do not wait for tomorrow You must pluck today
"The roses of life"
Alsace and Lorraine.
I can't paint them red, white and blue.
Mauve, the color of mourning.
As I was nearly 6 years old, I went to school...
...in Mademoiselle Guimard's kindergarten class.
If you know, keep quiet!
As they chanted the alphabet...
...I'd sit there, silent, calm and smiling.
I'd tell myself stories and think of Borely Park...
...at the end of the Prado in Marseilles.
Every Sunday, Aunt Rose would come to lunch...
...and then would take me by streetcar...
...to this enchanted place.
One Sunday, I had the nasty surprise...
...of finding a gentleman...
...sitting on our bench.
From then on I was pleased...
...to see our trips to the park increase.
My aunt confided in me...
...that the gentleman was the owner of Borely Park.
If we spoke about him, he'd surely find out...
...and would forbid us to return.
I already knew his generosity cost nothing.
But I was grateful and proud...
...of my rich friend.
Eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Catch a tiger, let him go.
Right, you count.
37 years old.
That's quite old!
Come on! I'll be 30 this year. I'm still a young man.
37 years isn't old, he's in his prime.
And Rose isn't that young either!
I'm 26. And I like him!
That's what counts, of course.
- What does he do? - He's a deputy clerk.
- In what department? - I don't know.
But he earns 220 francs a month.
He has a small inheritance, too.
He says we can count on...
...350 francs a month.
Congratulations, my dear.
But is he handsome at least?
Not at all.
He is handsome! He's magnificent!
Following these events, the owner of Borely Park...
...came to our house with Aunt Rose.
They'd been on a lovely trip.
The owner amazed us...
...by kissing my mother and then my father.
His tongue rolled "R"s as a stream rolls gravel.
You have to call me Uncle Jules now...
...because I've married Aunt Rose.
My Uncle Jules soon became a great friend of mine.
When I told him he should build a house...
...in his admirable Borely Park...
...he admitted, lightheartedly, that he had never been its owner.
That day I discovered...
...that adults knew how to lie as well as I did...
...and I felt I'd never be safe with them again.
- "Father Dupanloup" - Joseph...
"Father Dupanloup in his balloon"
- Jules and Rose will be here soon. - Really?
"In his balloon, up to the sky
"At 300 meters high"
Joking about priests is all right at work, but not in front of Jules!
A little ditty about the ballooning exploits...
...of old Father Dupanloup.
Jules goes to mass.
Every Sunday, I know.
But you don't know everything. He receives communion twice a month!
A member of our family!
37 years old. Who's studied law!
A government employee!
You've already refused to enter church on their wedding day.
He could get angry. And deservedly so.
He could stop Rose's seeing us.
There! See how intolerant these fanatics are!
Do I keep him from going to consume his God every Sunday?
Do I stop you from seeing your sister...
...since she married a supposedly educated man...
...who thinks the Creator is found in 100,000 goblets every Sunday?
When your Jules arrives for lunch...
...l'll show him how broad-minded I am.
My liberalism will make him look stupid.
I won't mention neither the Inquisition...
...nor the poor souls burned at the stake.
I won't say a word about those poisoners...
...Borgia nor Pope Joan!
And even if he tries to preach to me...
...concepts about the childish notions of a religion...
...as primitive as my grandmother's tales...
...l'll answer politely...
...and laugh into my beard.
But he didn't have a beard and he wasn't laughing.
- I brought a baba. - What a good idea, Jules.
- No sweets! - No.
Thank you, Uncle.
- You're working on Sunday? - It's nothing.
You teachers have the holidays to rest...
...the summer holidays.
Yes. Perhaps we should replace the civil servants at the police station...
...who are exhausted by their long naps and sore from sitting.
- How was your morning, Jules? - Excellent. I went to mass.
Do you understand Latin?
Just enough to pray.
I sometimes wonder, my dear Jules...
...if Latin isn't used...
...to hide things from ignorant believers.
- Like quack doctors' magic formulas? - I don't need to tell you.
Come to the table!
It's good. Hurray for the cook!
Try this nectar! It's from Roussillon, like me.
- Not for me. - Just a drop.
One glass has five centiliters of pure alcohol.
That's enough to kill three large dogs.
Stop reciting your lessons from training college.
Seminaries are less strict. Come on, don't refuse.
- My religion forbids it. - Let me convert you.
Just a drop then.
A natural product even children could drink.
Don't move! Smile, Ms. Guimard.
Three years went by.
Mr. Arnaud, come on. Thank you.
A smile, don't move.
If 20 kilos of apples cost 100 francs, how much do 2 kilos cost?
I triumphed over the rule of three.
I learnt of the existence of Lake Titicaca with inexhaustible joy.
Get out, Mangiapan.
Exceptions to the rules of grammar.
- Then... - Louis X, The Headstrong.
And all those terrible rules that govern past participles.
But you can also learn outside of class.
Thus, my classmate, whom we called Mangiapan...
...shared an audacious hypothesis with us one day.
He claimed that babies come out of their mother's navel.
A navel cord.
The other day, my sister Miette, the big one, she's in a funny state.
My brother Paul had grown.
He had an unwavering interest in comic books.
I would have liked to check Mangiapan's idea with him.
It seemed so outlandish.
After a close examination of my navel...
...I realized it looked like a button-hole...
...with a sort of button in the middle.
I concluded it could be unbuttoned...
...and that Mangiapan was right.
I resolved to get to the bottom of this.
At market one day, I made an important discovery.
I noticed Augustine had changed shape.
She walked with her bust back like the postman at Christmas.
What's our Augustine got under her apron?
Wait, boys. Slow down!
Two months later, after celebrating Shrove Tuesday...
...three days straight at Aunt Rose's, flipping pancakes...
...we found Augustine one night, smiling...
...but pale and weak in the big bed.
A little sister had been born.
Mangiapan's theory seemed confirmed.
I kissed my mother and thought of her suffering...
...when they unbuttoned her navel.
The little creature seemed strange at first.
Augustine breastfed her...
...which shocked me and terrified Paul.
She eats four times a day.
Uncle Jules and Aunt Rose lived on Minimes Street...
...in a new apartment with all modern conveniences.
And we cook...
With gas, if you please!
With gas, but still with olive oil.
- What about the telephone? - So I can be rung for like a servant?
I won't have that contraption here.
Dinner is served, madam.
You are living in style.
- Are you chief now? - God forbid.
I doubt that...
...your God meddles in civil servants' careers.
Come on, let's eat.
I'm dying of hunger.
You're eating for two now.
I noticed that Aunt Rose was also swelling...
...and I immediately concluded that another unbuttoning was approaching.
Old people's children are always difficult.
- My sister's only 28. - That's late for a baby.
- Don't forget that her husband is 40. - He's 39.
28 and 39...
That day, we were going to see an old person's baby.
I hear he's 67.
He'll be all wrinkled with a white beard.
Not so thick, of course. A baby's beard.
It sounds ugly.
Maybe he'll know how to talk, since he's so old.
We'll ask where he came from.
But we were disappointed.
Aunt Rose, even though pale, looked buttoned up again.
Near her was a baby...
...without a beard or a mustache.
- He's a young-looking baby. - What does he mean?
He doesn't look his age.
- Come on, tadpole, I need you. - What for?
Joseph, what do you think of this?
It's a nice hat.
Not the hat, the scorpion fish. 10 pounds, a real monster.
And you posed for a photograph?
Of course. Such an exploit deserves to be immortalized.
But you posed with a fish!
That he was happy to have made such a catch, I can understand...
...but to be photographed with a fish!
What a lack of dignity.
Vanity is definitely the silliest of sins.
- Do you know where I'm taking you? - No.
Ali Baba's cave!
Here are the chairs.
What time is it?
- That makes 50 francs. - That's too much.
It's expensive but good. It's a period piece.
It's a piece from a period, but not ours.
- You only like modern pieces? - I'm not buying for a museum.
- I'll give you 35 francs. - Impossible.
Because I have to pay my landlord 50 francs at noon. What time is it?
11:45. So if you owed him 100 francs, you would dare to ask me for it?
I have to get it somewhere.
If I owed him 40 francs, I'd only ask you for 40.
Or 30, if I owed him 30.
I'll come back when you've paid him. Come on, tadpole.
It's not possible that it's 11:45.
What do you expect!
It's just not your lucky day. To each his own!
You're young, lively, straight as a post...
...you have two superb eyes.
While there are blind men and hunchbacks, you've no right to complain.
The price is 50 francs.
Marcel, fetch the chairs.
Come over here.
What shall I do?
You'll be very useful.
These tools are crafty devils.
They hide when you're looking for them.
- Are they scared of the hammer? - Of course.
I want you to sit here and watch them.
- Dad... - Here.
Guess what all this is for?
Don't let them touch this filth!
Germs were a novelty then.
Pasteur had only just invented them.
My mother thought they were tigers...
...ready to gobble us up from inside.
This filth, as your mother calls it...
...will become rustic furniture...
...for her enjoyment and pleasure.
"Rustic"? I like it.
- What does it mean? - It means from the countryside.
As your mother needs a bit of countryside...
...Uncle Jules and I have rented...
...a villa in the hills for the summer holidays.
Where's the villa?
On the edge of a scrub desert...
...that goes from Aubagne to Aix.
A real desert.
Maybe there'll be camels.
I've never seen any.
Have you seen a rhinoceros?
My father talked, Paul questioned him, Augustine helped us...
...and I thought of those magical words.
At 8:00 on the day we left...
...we were in our holiday clothes made by Augustine.
Uncle Jules had arranged everything.
The families traveled separately.
He could afford a removal van.
We had to make do with a farmer and his cart.
Sorry I'm late. I was selling my apricots at the market.
City folk! What a shambles!
What's more, I almost had to pay them to take my apricots!
- Hello, sir. - Hello, sir.
Let's go get your antiques. Up we go.
That's clear then?
You take the tramway and I'll meet you.
- Know the way? - I have my map.
Good. Bye! Gee up, Ragbag!
If I'm late, there's a cafe to wait in.
We'll see. We have to walk nine kilometers.
That's a lot for the children.
- Tasty, is it? - Yes.
Is that La Treille?
Yes. It's still a fair way off.
The lady will have to get down and we'll push.
- Hit him harder. And on the belly. - Don't let him!
Tear his eyes out!
Tear my eyes out?
Who's this savage?
I've a drawer for savages.
Don't let him!
If you tear people's eyes out...
...you get shut in a drawer.
He was only joking.
It's not a thing to say.
Especially since I bought sunglasses at the market.
- You could still wear them. - Silly.
If you wear sunglasses with your eyes torn out...
...it's like looking up a mole's bum!
There. I'll let you off this time.
Shouting and shoving, we blocked the wheel...
...hit the mule, and reached the village.
In the square, a fountain was gurgling away.
- Is no one thirsty? - Come on, children!
Nothing's better than pure, thirst-quenching, free water!
Then we moved out of the village...
...into a magical land.
I felt a love swell up that was to last all my life.
A big, black bird hovered in the sky.
All around like a sea of music...
...the metallic hum of the cicadas rose up.
That one over there, that's Red Head.
And that is Round Head...
...and that is Taoume.
We also call it Tube.
- What does it mean? - It means it's called both Tube and Taoume.
- But what's the origin of those words? - The origin is that it has two names.
- So what? - You also have two names, and so do I!
Over there, the Garlaban. Aubagne is on the other side.
- I was born in Aubagne. - Then you're from here.
And I was born in St. Loup. Am I from here, too?
A little bit, but not much.
You're a jerk.
- What are you doing? - Put these on.
Silly, we can't stop here.
Why not? We'll catch up.
She was so small now! She seemed 15 years old.
Thyme! We'll have lovely stews.
Thyme? Better off with savory.
- What is it? - It's kind of like thyme, but also like mint.
I'll have to show you. There are plenty of herbs here.
Marjoram, sage, rosemary, fennel, savory.
Savory. You chop it up fine and stuff your hare...
...with a big piece of lard. What a delight!
Here we are.
There's the country house.
There's our holiday villa.
Thus began the happiest days of my life.
The incredible hurricane lamp.
When I saw it shining bright, with the serenity of an altar lamp...
...I forgot all about my cheese soup...
...and decided to devote my life to science.
Soup, man's greatest conquest!
It's my turn!
- It's my turn! - Right, eeny, meeny, miny, mo...
You'll cheat again! It's my turn.
- Tomorrow, then. - Tomorrow it's you.
The cicadas and the scrubland...
...flooded into the enlarged room.
"Do you know the land
"Where the orange tree blooms?
- "That's where..." - No. It's "where"
Here, happiness was as natural as saying hello.
Even washing became a game, thanks to my father's inventiveness...
...in fitting a rubber tube to the kitchen sink.
This "Tap of Progress"...
...was an amazing luxury, a miracle.
For this was the land of the drought.
There was a big cistern behind the house.
He just had to turn on the tap over the sink...
...to see the clear water flow out.
That's enough! If we empty the cistern, we'll have to go home.
That'll do! Go and get dry.
You'll catch a chill! Go!
I have to beg them to wash at home.
Do they obey?
They pretend to. Especially Marcel.
He's a clever talker.
"I'd like to live"
Smooth as a peach...
- You mess! Shame on you! - I'm comfortable. We're on holiday.
- Do the same. Like that. - I'll look like...
One more and you'll be dancing the cancan!
Uncle Jules granted the title of "maid"...
...to a peasant woman who did the washing-up...
...and the laundry, the only times she washed her hands.
We were forbidden to leave the garden...
...whose fence was reputed to be insurmountable.
But we soon proved the contrary.
That's when the great adventure began.
Don't move! Stop, thief!
Who gave you permission to steal my flutterbies?
They're not yours!
They are. They're all mine!
That's why they call me Edmond Flutterby.
If they called you Edmond Goat-turd, they'd be yours, too?
Tell me, who's that, the little insolent?
My big brother.
You're not worth very much, both of you.
Butterfly thieves, bad seeds. You'll end up in labor camp!
In Aubagne? That's where my brother was born.
I'm not surprised.
- Tell me, what are you doing here? - Nothing. We were just climbing the hills.
- What for? - To see.
- What? - To see the other side.
Lord! Ever since man was born...
...he's always wanted to see the other side.
So he goes to war, has children...
...travels and even becomes a priest...
...just to see the other side.
Are the cicadas yours, too, sir?
They aren't. You can have them.
Can I catch them?
- With your net? - Yes.
You'll be here until Christmas, my boy!
Lordy! These city folk.
I'll show you how. Come here.
Be as watchful as a hawk. When it hears you, it stops humming.
You may as well give up.
The thing is, it has to get used to you.
Then it starts humming again, see?
It started again, the devil.
Those cicadas never sleep.
Are they disturbing you?
I thought they stopped at night. It's strange.
They must think the lamp is the sun.
The funny thing is that they're so loud.
It's as if...
- Are you playing or not? - We're waiting!
- Good morning, teacher. - Gentlemen.
- Get a move on it! - We're waiting for you.
I'm coming, right away.
- How much for the partridge? - The usual price.
- We're waiting! - We need you!
Come on! Jump to it.
- He's not deaf! - You nuisance!
You can pay for it tomorrow!
The ball game of lawn bowling comes before anything else.
I'll soon deal with your balls.
- What now? - Do you hear?
A cuckoo? So what! Play, will you?
A cuckoo in summer? It's Baptistin.
- Who's Baptistin? - He's on the lookout for me.
If the cuckoo is Baptistin, it's time for me to go!
Excuse us, gentlemen.
- Have you seen... - No!
- We're looking for a poacher who... - No!
Thank you, gentlemen, for your valuable help.
- You're welcome. - Don't mention it.
You said there was no game here.
Just partridges and ortolans.
As long as you can catch them.
Even though you're from the city...
...perhaps you could join Francois?
I'm bound to lose. That's no game.
Go on, Dad.
- See, he'll try. - Good for him.
- Do you shoot or place? - As you wish.
I've run out. You have to shoot.
Teacher, books don't teach lawn bowling.
- Now, you have to... - I can see, I understand.
- You're adopted! - Lf I hadn't won at lawn bowling...
- It's the candle I lit for you. - Do as you like.
It's my pleasure.
Here, let me introduce the priest.
I had never seen my father face to face with his enemy before.
- Good day, sir. - Delighted, sir.
- I hear you're looking for tomatoes? - No.
- Lf you'd like, I have some in my garden. - No, thank you.
- Have you found some? - No.
We'll manage without tomatoes this year.
Good day, sir.
Come on, Marcel.
"I made him know his Name should be Friday...
"...which was the Day I sav'd his Life."
Come and see, Uncle Jules is cooking!
What a stink!
Uncle Jules! What is it?
- Is it for dinner? - We'll never eat them for dinner.
- Why cook them then? - To see who's curious.
- Here's what I was cooking. Fat wadding. - What for?
- For hunting? - Of course.
- With Uncle Jules? - Of course.
- You've got a gun? - Of course.
- To kill elephants? - Bedtime!
Why kill elephants, rhinoceroses and giraffes?
A wedding present from my brother.
It's Spanish. What about yours?
My father presented a large yellow case...
...he must've bought at the flea market without my knowing.
My father gave it to me.
Having thus turned an antique gun into a family heirloom...
...he removed a huge gun from this ridiculous cardboard case.
Good Lord, a musket!
Almost. It's very precise.
I believe you.
Stay there! Don't move!
It's a bit too heavy, but it fits the shoulder nicely.
Time for ammunition.
What game is in the hills?
Stuff them down well.
- Firstly, little birds. - Tiny little birds?
Warblers on a skewer, Augustine.
I won't let you kill canaries.
No canaries or parrots, I promise.
Just wheatears and ortolans.
Ortolans are delicious!
This gauge measures the charge.
In grams and decigrams.
Can we shoot thrushes?
But there's something better.
In the Taoume ravines lives the king of game.
- Guess! - Elephants?
Will you get to bed! Go on!
I don't think so. But I can't be sure.
Come on, Joseph, no more joking.
Try now. The rarest game of all?
- The partridge? - The finest?
The red partridge?
The most suspicious?
The one every hunter dreams of!
I don't know.
The rarest, finest, most suspicious?
I don't know.
- The bartavelle! - What's that?
See! It's so rare, even Joseph hasn't heard of it.
The bartavelle, ladies and gentlemen, is the royal partridge.
More royal than a partridge even, it's so big and gleaming.
The bartavelle is almost a wood grouse.
Uncle Jules spoke all evening like an erudite professor...
...while my father, a certified school examiner...
...who played checkers so well, and threw balls so well...
...listened to him with an attentive...
...and even ignorant air, like a pupil.
I felt ashamed and humiliated.
What's wrong with Uncle Jules? Has he got colitis?
We will verify how the shots are grouped.
Father took aim.
If he missed, my humiliation would be complete.
It was a bull's-eye.
I felt a triumphant pride...
...and I waited for Uncle Jules to express his admiration.
It's a colander, not a gun!
- It was a bull's-eye! - Not a bad shot.
But a partridge in flight isn't a toilet door.
Let's try the buckshot now.
Plug your ears, ladies!
This isn't a game.
It's like thunder.
And you, sir, grip the butt tightly.
Right. One, two...
- It's tough. They're embedded. - Lf only we had bullets...
Fortunately, they had none.
From the other side of the door, we heard a voice...
...who asked nervously:
Can I come out now?
It was the maid.
The dog goes...
The bird goes...
One step back. The bird gets closer.
Shoulder, take aim.
- What's going on? - The partridge is just overhead.
- That's the way. Understand? - Yes.
- I asked your daddy. - It looks hard.
Go on, Dad.
I hide behind the hedge.
I pop out with the gun, raise my gun.
Come with me. Your back.
It looks hard.
One step back.
Shoulder. Up five inches.
I hide in the hedge. I jump out with my gun.
Aim, don't fire. The bird is five inches up.
My father prepared for the season with such application...
...that I began to doubt his omnipotence for once.
He'd send me to hide in the bushes with my eyes closed.
I'd wait, with my ears pinned back...
...listening for the slightest noise.
Did you hear me?
To keep him happy, I'd say:
My worries grew apace.
My father, child of the city and prisoner of its schools...
...had never killed anything.
I don't like Dad going hunting.
- Why's that? - Uncle Jules is so arrogant.
He's always ordering him around.
He's teaching Dad. That's friendship.
He's pleased to be the best.
Dad beats him at lawn bowling.
- But he'll lose now. - Raspberry or plum jam?
It's silly playing games we don't know.
I don't play football because I am not strong enough.
But I play marbles because I am sure to win.
You big silly!
Hunting isn't a contest.
It's simply a walk with a gun.
- Lf he doesn't kill any game... - Lf he doesn't, I'll be disgusted!
I won't love him any more!
They're so handsome!
That's not a jacket, it's 30 pockets stitched together!
Heavens, the bottle!
Seven miles in the hills isn't far, but it's a good walk.
- I'll carry lunch! - What lunch?
- Our lunch! - But where?
I don't have a gun.
So I'll carry lunch.
If it's in your bags, there'll be no room left.
I walk without a sound.
You don't have a dog. When you kill partridges...
...you won't be able to find them. I'm small, I can get them for you.
And then, Dad...
You heard what Uncle Jules said.
We're going to walk seven miles in the hills.
You're too small to walk that far.
I'm light. My bottom's not fat like Uncle Jules'!
I never get tired.
I don't like people mentioning my bottom.
If you won't take me with you, I'll be sick.
I feel heartsick already.
Look, calm down.
You have talked too much!
Then Uncle Jules showed his generosity.
Maybe it's none of my business...
...but I think Marcel deserves to come with us.
He'll carry our lunch for us...
...and follow behind us, away from the bullets.
All right, Joseph?
- Lf you're okay with it, so am I. - Good!
- Calm down. - Only...
- What? - We mustn't tell Paul, he's too tiny.
- You'll lie to your brother? - I just won't tell him.
- What if he asks? - Then I'll lie.
It's for his own good.
That's something important.
You can lie to children when it's for their own good.
I'm not hungry tonight. I am tired, though.
I can feel heartache, too, you know!
Since Uncle Jules had praised hunters' appetites...
...I devoured my meat and asked for more potatoes.
- What's going on? - I'm eating for tomorrow.
- What for? - For the hunt.
The hunt? Tomorrow's Sunday!
We can't kill animals on the Sabbath.
You're a family of sinners.
No wonder he wants to hunt on a Sunday.
When do we go then?
There's apricot tart and whipped cream for tomorrow.
Mother, can I read for a bit?
- They're not taking you. - Where?
- Hunting. - I didn't ask to go.
You're a big fibber.
I heard what you said.
I heard you crying.
You even said you'd fib to me.
Uncle Jules is an even bigger fibber than you.
- Why? - They're hunting tomorrow. I know.
Mom made tomato omelet and put it in their bags...
...with a big sausage...
...raw pork chops, bread and wine.
Was it possible?
I remembered his lies about Borely Park.
...was he the silent accomplice in the plot against me?
What was happening without me?
I was going with them anyway!
Are you asleep?
I couldn't fall asleep or they'd go without me.
Keep my eyes open.
Do not sleep...
Marcel, are you sleeping?
Listen, they're going without you.
Remember, wound a boar and climb a tree.
What about Mom?
"...they've taken me with them. Don't worry about me.
"Save some cream for me. Lots of love and kisses."
I realized the hunt had begun.
I remembered Uncle Jules' advice.
It was the best way to avoid a charging, injured boar.
Since I couldn't see the hunters...
...I feared that the monster was ripping open my father...
...and I pleaded with God to direct the monster towards my uncle who believed in heaven...
...and who would thus be more willing to die.
I got it!
A lovely blackbird!
I thought about what to do.
If I continued on the ridge to the end...
...I could watch without being seen.
- What's that? - A woodcock.
Put it in your bag.
Get back in line.
Once you've fired, reload.
Uncle Jules had proved the truth of his hunting tales.
Joseph should think about catching up.
It was a partridge!
A whole flow of them.
I'd drive them to the hunters.
I told you already, once you've fired, reload.
You have to reload each time you fire.
Our failure dismayed me.
It was pathetically funny.
Check that the barrel isn't clogged.
Would the schoolmaster return empty-handed...
...while Uncle Jules was weighed down by game?
That could not be.
I'll send so much game towards him, that he'll have to end up killing something.
What should I do? Simply go back home?
Could I leave Joseph alone with his gun and thick glasses...
...with the king of hunters?
They were at the foot of the hill.
I had to go straight ahead.
I'd cross the lonely plateau to find them again.
I had to face the fact that I was lost.
I thought of Tom Thumb's wonderful intelligence.
The inspired inventor of the prefabricated trail.
It was far too late to imitate him.
I listened to the hillside.
I heard nothing but deathly silence.
Don't touch other people's traps!
I just wanted to see the bird.
It's a Bedouin.
- You wouldn't happen to be a trap thief? - No.
- What's in your knapsack? - Nothing.
- Why are you here? - I'm walking.
- On your own, all by yourself? - Yes. No. With my father and my uncle.
- Where are they? - Over there.
- Go on, you're lost! - No!
A little bit.
You're with the hunters.
- You've seen them? - A beret and a cap?
- Yes. - They're over there.
- They look ready for war. - The season started.
I don't ask permission to go hunting.
- No one complains? - Who could?
They all do the same.
The season is for city folk.
Go on! Go and find them.
- They're a long way off. - That's all right, I'm not tired.
Are you sure? I can take you back.
As you like.
My name's Marcel. What's yours?
Lili, from Bellons.
I thought the bird could see the hunters right then...
...grilling their chops on the fire.
The sun was at its zenith.
I was still following the path that Lili indicated.
But I realized with terror that this bird of prey...
...was flying in circles around me.
My shouts didn't scare this tearer of bloody flesh.
With my eyes, these eyes that he would tear out with his crooked beak...
...I searched for a refuge.
The shepherd's hut reminded me of my sad situation.
I thought, "I'm lost at the ends of the earth...
"...but for the moment, no one is worrying about me.
"The hunters think I'm at home, and Augustine thinks I'm with them.
"But when they return, what a disaster!
"Mom might even faint.
"In any case, she'll cry.
"They'll come looking for me...
"...with the locals and the police.
"Once it gets dark, I'll see their torches in the distance.
"I would shout:
"But they wouldn't hear.
"They'd move off without seeing me...
"...gone for good, like the boat off Crusoe's island."
To die or to sleep, what's the difference?
Dad! Uncle Jules!
I could see the edge of a valley.
Perhaps it was the same as this morning.
I leapt with joy, when suddenly...
I thought the blood was mine...
...and was about to burst into tears when I realized that the fowl was also bloodied.
They were partridges.
Their weight surprised me.
My heart was pounding.
- Royal partridges. - Bartavelles!
You dared shoot at two bartavelles in one go! Two!
- They were mine! - I saw feathers fly.
So did I!
On the wings carrying the birds off...
...to where they're laughing at us!
He killed them!
Both of them! He did!
With these four wings hanging from my bloody fists...
...I raised my father's glory to the sky...
...in the setting sun.
"A sort of red partridge living in mountains and pine woods."
Is that all? What about its habits and origins...
- What are you doing? - I'll get them ready to cook for dinner.
They're not poultry! They're game. First-class game!
It's a crime to eat them so soon.
- They look ready to me. - Believe me.
One must never miss the opportunity to learn something.
I'm sure Marcel is curious to know the origin of "bartavelle."
We'll ask around while we're shopping.
The villagers must know more than the naturalists.
Do you need your gun to go shopping?
You never know. Come on, tadpole.
Holy Mother! Who sold you those?
They're just shots.
- A pair of bartavelles? - Yes.
The Lord rewards the innocent.
- Where were you? - Lancelot Valley, near Passe-Temps.
Surprising you found them.
They can fly 500 or 600 yards after they're dead.
The lad saw them fall on the ridge.
Good job, boy!
If you don't have a dog, have children!
- Who sold you that? - They cost two shots.
One weighs two pounds and eight ounces.
And the other, three pounds and two ounces!
- St. Hubert was with you. - St. Hubert and my 12-caliber!
That's an old male and a 2-year-old hen.
That partridge isn't caccabis rufa.
It's caccabis saxatilis.
In republican French?
Sorry. It means rock partridge...
...or Greek partridge.
Your ministry extends to our winged friends.
Angels have wings too, sir!
The priest informed us that in old Provencal, "bartavello" signified "blunt lock"...
...and that the bird was nicknamed thus because of its squeaking cry.
Now you know all about bartavelles. Are you happy?
Yes, Dad. Maybe we can eat them now.
I'd like a souvenir of this great day.
A stroke of luck doesn't deserve such a great honor.
It does. Please pose.
At that moment, I thought of Mr. Arnaud who had posed with his scorpion fish.
"To be photographed with a fish," my father had said...
"...what lack of dignity!"
One, two, three. Perfect!
Isn't it a warbler?
No, it's Lili!
- We have company. - Do you know him?
- Yes. - And I know you.
The 12-caliber bartavelle man.
- Will you have a chop? - I've brought food.
A real poacher!
- Me? No, I'm from Bellons. - What does that mean?
The hills, that's all we have here.
So we're not really poachers.
What you need here are springs.
You're clever. Is the Murier the only one?
- I know seven springs. - Seven!
- Where are they? - I can't tell you.
- Why's that? - You can't tell about springs.
I'd like to, but I can't.
Even at home we don't mention it.
My grandfather knew one...
...but never told anybody.
How do you know about it?
We used to work the field in the valley.
Every day, before lunch...
...Grandfather would say, "Don't watch me go."
- He'd go off with a bottle. - Didn't you look?
Holy Mother! He'd have killed us!
He'd come back with cool water.
You never saw anything?
I heard, when he died...
...that he wanted to tell.
He called my father and said, "The spring..."
Bang, he died! He waited too long.
So it's a lost spring now.
- What a stupid waste. - Even so.
Maybe birds drink there.
I have to hurry. The storm's coming.
Storm? It's not going to rain. It's perfect hunting weather.
If he drank all the rain, he'd piss till Christmas!
- See you! - See you.
Marcel, are you coming?
Go on without me. I'll see you back at the house.
It's a darnagas. City people call them sparrows.
We call them "darnagas" because they're stupid.
We've just enough time.
We should get back.
It's no use. I know a place where we'll be dry and we can see everything.
Not bad for a city lad.
Let the show begin!
- It's beautiful. - Beautiful but daft.
Bend down and pick up two big stones.
Turn round slowly.
Is it a vampire?
It's the Grand Duke. We call him Big Owl.
If he attacks, mind your eyes.
I'd rather be wet than blind.
Not with me. Give me your hand.
- There's your house. - Where?
Stay calm, madam.
- Lili will bring him back. - Here they are!
See, they're not lost.
They're soaked. Like they fell in the sea.
- Here, take a towel. - You're both crazy.
Children can take water. Especially from above.
- As pink as bumberries! - Bumberries?
It's eased off.
Come on, Lili!
Madam, the outfit.
- Can I keep it? - Shame on you!
You'll have to ask Marcel.
You can have it.
Lili knew everything. What the weather would be like...
...the hidden springs. He revealed them to me in exchange for solemn oaths...
"...cross my heart and hope to die."
He knew the ravines where mushrooms grow, wild greens.
Pines, almond trees, plum trees, arbousier.
He knew of a few solitary vines, hidden behind a thick bush...
...that produced some delicious, if slightly sour, grapes.
He took a very dry branch of clematis...
...cut it into pieces, and we could smoke it like a cigar.
In exchange for so many secrets, I told him stories of the city.
Stores where everything could be found.
Toy exhibitions at Christmas.
Festivities for the 14th of July.
And the enchantment of amusement parks where I rode on a roller coaster.
I imitated the rolling wheels, rubbing against the tracks...
...the shrill cries of lady passengers...
...and Lili joined me in screaming.
Look, a jackdaw.
It's for you.
We'll probably get some thrushes, autumn starts today.
Is autumn here?
And so, these familiar holidays in Provence...
...did not make time go by any faster.
And summer, dead already, was not yet wrinkled.
Make the most of tonight. We're packing tomorrow.
What are you saying?
- The holidays are over. - Over?
We leave in two days.
- Today's Friday. - It was Friday.
And we leave on Sunday.
You know you have school on Monday.
You've an important year ahead of you.
In July, you take...
...the lycee scholarship exam.
At the lycee you'll learn Latin.
You'll love it.
The holidays were over.
I didn't want to cry in front of them.
- First to the shutters! - You do it.
Do you know we're going?
No more hunting.
No more cicadas.
- They're all dead anyway. - You're pleased it's over?
- I've my toy soldiers at home. - Why did you cry last night then?
I don't know.
They can go, but I'm staying.
- How will you manage that? - It's easy.
I'll pack my things and hide in the cave.
You know, from the storm.
- Big Owl's cave? - Yes.
- You'd do that? - You don't know me.
I'd like you to stay.
- In those hills, how will you live? - I'll be a hermit.
- A termite? - No! A hermit.
- They retreat from the world to think. - What do they eat?
Special ones don't eat. I'll find asparagus...
And I'll plant chickpeas.
- Can you cook them? - I'll learn how.
I've been thinking.
With you up there, we can set more traps.
I'll take half home and we can sell the rest.
We'll sell snails, too!
And fennel! They pay well for that.
- Then we can buy rabbit traps. - Lf we catch a hare, it'll give us at least 5 francs!
At that rate, the hermit will be a millionaire!
- What use is that? - You have money!
So what? You won't eat any better!
As my granddad said, "You only have one asshole."
This would be my last night, my last moments with the family.
I was almost moved, when...
Maybe I'm a bit perverse...
...but I'll be glad to see the pupils and the blackboard.
And the bartavelles, what about them?
I understood that he was nailing the holidays in a coffin, and that it was no use.
The thing I miss most here is the gas.
That's what I'll be glad to go back to.
What I miss most is a comfortable toilet...
...with no ants or spiders, and with a flush!
So that's what he thought about, this big wine drinker with his big bottom.
I was at the height of my fury, but I proudly observed...
...that my mother did not blaspheme my dear hill. I decided to bestow unto her alone...
...a farewell kiss.
"Dear Father and Mother, above all, don't feel bad...
"...for I have found my calling, to be a hermit.
"It's too late for my studies now, I've abandoned them.
"For me, my happiness is in adventure.
"There's no danger. I've packed two bottles of aspirin from the Rhone factory.
"Do not worry.
"Paul will be a bit jealous, but I don't care.
"Give him a hug from his big brother.
"Dear Father, take care of Mother's health.
"I will think of her every night.
"I tenderly embrace you all, especially my dear mother.
"Your son, Marcel, the hermit of the hills.
"P.S. Don't come and look for me, I cannot be found."
I thought you weren't coming.
I decided to.
To the best of my ability, I took on a terrific air, but I did not add a thing.
That's a night noise. They're always a bit scary.
- What's that? - A fox.
He's hounding his prey towards his mate.
- What is it? - No doubt about it. You're terrific.
You're really the hermit of the hills.
This stunned admiration, which flattered my vanity, suddenly seemed troubling.
I had to make an effort in order to remain terrific.
I was about to succeed in this effort, when...
We forgot something!
- What? - I can't believe we forgot.
I should have thought. You forgot, too.
What are you saying. Are you going crazy?
The Big Owl.
- The Grand Duke? - Yes.
I bet 12 traps his mate lives with him.
We were approaching the cave, and this terrifying news overwhelmed me.
Even when you are terrific, there are moments when fate deceives you.
An owl's worse than an eagle.
- Two of them! - There's two of us.
I saw the two big owls fly above my head.
So I was all the more terrific...
...and decided to double back at the given moment.
This is Breguette Spring. You'll get water here.
It never dries up.
It gives two gallons a day.
I suddenly found the inspiration I had been seeking for a while.
Two gallons, you must be joking!
Not at all.
- Maybe even two and a half. - What can I do with two and a half gallons?
You drink that much?
- I wash. - A handful's enough for that.
Maybe for you.
- I soap myself all over. - Why? Are you ill?
No, but in the city we have loads of germs.
- Germs are crafty. - What are germs?
A sort of flea. So small you can't see them.
If I don't wash, they'll eat me up.
You'll find me dead in the cave.
- That'd be daft. - It's your fault.
You told me I'd have enough water.
- That's why I came. - I didn't know!
I don't have any germs!
I don't even know what it is in patois!
Fear of the big owl and night noises gave over to the fear that my father had found the letter...
...especially, that he had discussed it with my mother.
The light's on!
- They're getting up. - Maybe they haven't noticed.
Climb up quickly!
Here's the leather case.
Generous as he was, Uncle Jules had insisted on treating us to a rented car.
It was out of the question for us to walk in the rain, with our guns and luggage.
Don't forget the trunk.
Marcel, come and have breakfast.
I'm not hungry.
You have to eat something. It's a long trip with no stops.
You're not a baby now.
Life isn't all fun.
I'd like to stay here, too, you know, and live in the hills.
Maybe in a cave.
All on my own, like a hermit.
The allusion to a hermit startled me...
...but I understood that it was a very natural idea, since I'd had it myself.
You'll have to work on spelling this year.
He spells "fret" with two "T"s.
And I bet you can't spell "hermit."
I felt myself turning red, but I immediately dispelled my worry.
He couldn't have read the letter because I found it where I'd left it.
You're going to have to work hard.
If you do and make progress...
...we can come back on holiday.
- Honestly? - That depends on you.
- Back to the city? - Yes.
- I'll write. - Sure. Why didn't we meet sooner?
Why does the best come last?
Marcel, come on.
Lock the door after you.
The house is empty.
- Even so! - Come on, climb in. Bye, Lili.
Don't forget to study.
A well-read farmer is a boon.
- See you, Marcel. - See you.
I was being taken away from my country...
...and soft rain drops cried for me on my face.
Wait a moment!
A holiday memento.
God be with you.
- I never... - It's lovely.
What a good likeness.
It's a good print.
This silver citrate paper...
...darkens in light.
The lighting's good...
...but with the sun so high, my nose looks long.
I don't think so.
It's really clear.
The priest knows what he's doing.
Seeing as we have three, I'll send one to Granddad...
...so he can see how Marcel's grown.
He was very proud of his feat.
He would send one copy to Grandfather...
...he would show the other to the whole school, as Mr. Arnaud had done.
I had caught my dear superman unawares in a moment of humanity.
I felt that I loved him all the more for it.
With these four wings hanging from my bloody fists...
...I raised my father's glory to the sky...
...in the setting sun.
MY FATHER'S GLORY
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