The peasant crisis resonates in the depths of their distant rural roots. Guillaume Canet, Catherine Deneuve, but also a writer like Michel Houellebecq express their dismay and their solidarity in front of the multiplication of the suicides of farmers, which affect especially the breeders.
With an intense film about the descent into hell of a farmer, played by a bald and more earthy Guillaume Canet, the film shines the camera on the distress of those who produce our food. And retires loose links with rurality.
Between the poetic thriller multi-award-winning "Small Farmer" in 2017, and the latest novel by Michel Houellebecq depicting the desperation of dairy farmers in "Serotonine" published late 2018, the breeder embodied by Guillaume Canet in "In the name of Terre ", embodies the drama of a system based on increasing yields, when farmers always earn less.
This summer, the actor participated in several screenings of the film, supported by the association Solidarité Paysans, in rural areas before its national release in cinemas, scheduled for Wednesday 25 September.
Guillaume Canet summarizes the plot of a sentence to AFP during a preview on the same farm where the film was shot, in Mayenne: "This film talks about suicide among farmers and their living conditions catastrophic today ".
It traces a true story, that of the father of the director Edouard Bergeon.
Waving wheat fields, a galloping horse. The dreams of the open spaces of the beginning are crushed by a mechanism of relentless debt. The Poulavie cooperative, which pushes the hero to endless investments to increase production, takes his rank.
- "Without peasants, no country" -
"I grew up in the countryside and I feel close to the rural environment," explains the actor, son of a horse breeder.
"At 10-12 years old, I started to ride horses, to do the boxes in the morning, (...) I always felt close to these people," he adds. For him, "without peasants, no country".
"We all have a plate in front of us, and the plate, it is filled by the farmers.The plate, it is also our health", adds Guillaume Canet while fustigating "the junk food" and the imported products "stuffed with antibiotics and hormones ".
"Farmers, they are accused of being poisoners, while they are the first poisoned, we must not put everything on their backs, we must give them the means to make quality", adds the actor .
Catherine Deneuve was the first, one evening in October 2016 in Lyon, to publicly dedicate her Lumière prize "to all farmers in France".
"I really admire what they do and the courage to do things that are never certain of the outcome," the actress told AFP during a meeting. end of August in Paris.
She is astonished that the press speaks little about the suicide of the peasants. Figures released in July show suicide mortality higher than the rest of the population.
"It's hard to realize the farmer's attachment to his land or his animals," she says.
- "Their life goes behind" -
"They are so completely in what they do that their life is going on behind them, really," says Catherine Deneuve. "They earn very little money, they sleep very little and work a lot."
The actress Mathilde Seigner explained in Paris Match in June that the "peasants" would be "one of the only subjects" who would "go down the street." "The scandalous thing is that we do not care about farmers who barely have enough to live on while they are the ones who feed us," she said.
Even indignation and great sadness for Muriel Robin in a Facebook post where she claims to shed "tears of shame" at the peasant situation in France.
"Today we can not be proud of our campaigns because they feel death, our farmers, whom we love so much, are dying", wrote the actress. "Large retailers are getting richer and farmers are dying, and what do we do, nothing, we do nothing".
© 2019 AFP